Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sleep & Speech

Trenton is really doing good lately! I am just so proud of him! On this post I want to focus on sleep and his speech! First, let's talk about sleep. Wow!! I have seen a change in his pattern lately and I LOVE IT!! In the past Trenton would sleep awful (up going wild in the night from 11ish to 4ish) for two months approximately. Then he would spontaneously sleep for a week or two and then he would go back to sleeping horrendous for another two months. The pattern would continue on and on. For the past two months his pattern is more like sleeping good 4-5 nights a week and an extremely awful 2-3 nights a week. This is a major change! No it is still not where it needs to be but I can handle 2-3 nights of little sleep if I can sleep approximately 4 nights a week! On what I have done the first three years of his life.....well heck....the sleep I am getting now feels AMAZING!
On the other hand, getting him to fall asleep continues to be a struggle. The majority of our nights it takes a lot of work to help him fall asleep. This is part of the reason why my mom has to help me just about every night. Trenton needs my 100% attention at night. Almost every night we listen to soft music starting around 5:00 PM to help calm him. He receives his medicine at this time. He will swing for awhile, walk around the house for awhile, listen to music for awhile, watch a very relaxing bed time video for awhile, walk around the house crying for awhile, lay in his bed for awhile, get up and walk around crying again, swing again, listen to music again, watch calm video again, lay on the couch, lay in bed again, swing again, and then he just may be asleep. This whole process usually takes from 5:00 PM until his body lets him relax and fall asleep. Last night he had two huge meltdowns before he finally fell asleep at 10:30.  5-10:30 that is all I did was help Trenton fall asleep. There was no sit down and relax time. No watching the evening news like I use to. It is go go go all day long with autism and not one "normal" thing goes on in our house.
This is how he fell asleep last night.
This is how he fell asleep Tuesday night. He crawled into his bed, got under his weighted blanket for the 50th time with all of his favorite blankets, holding flash cards, and he drifted off to sleep.

Trenton's speech is the best it has ever been right now too. This has always been an up and down battle too. He has went through periods of saying some words and then he goes through periods where he doesn't say anything. Autism is ALWAYS two steps forward and four steps backward. While we are on the forwards steps, I am embracing each time I get to hear that adorable little voice that is in his adorable little body! He is requesting items spontaneously in his therapies. He is either repeating or saying a few spontaneous words at school. At home he has been saying his animal names non stop while playing with his animals, followed by the sound the animal makes. He did this as well in ST today.  He came up to me and said "help me" three times today!!!! He did the sign language for "thank you" today after being prompted verbally at school! This is all fantastic!!!!!! FANTASTIC!!!!! I hope these forward steps are here to stay.

Now, for the gut wrenching moment I discovered a few days ago. This has me so bent out of shape that I have not even been able to bring myself to type about it. When Trenton had his episode at the beginning of last week where he hit himself, I recorded some of his cries for various reasons. I finally had the time to go back and listen to them on Tuesday. What I heard literally sent me to my knees. It took one time for me to listen to the video to know what I heard. Since then I have had 5 people listen to it and they all picked up on it pretty much right away. During Trenton's episode where he was hitting himself and trying to say something.....well he did say something. He said "I'm scared." I'm scared!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all, it made me sick to my stomach just trying to imagine what Trenton felt like that night. He was scared! Secondly, he knows what scared means!!! Thirdly, he used a contraction!!!!
This is not uncommon with people with autism. Unfortunately! They are trapped in a body that does not allow them to talk, show emotions, doesn't allow them to use iPad to communicate, but they can sometimes. A puzzle piece is the perfect symbol for this nasty disorder.
Trenton was scared and he was telling me that. I have read about other kids doing this in some of the books I have read. One family went back and watched old family videos and saw their child whisper "I love you" to his mother but he never could say it out loud or talk functionally. Gut wrenching!!!!!!!!!!!!
Trenton knows a lot folks! He is trapped in a body that doesn't allow him to express what he knows. There is no making mistakes in front of him. He pays attention and he knows who is doing what for him every second of the day!

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