Maybe Sleep Won’t Be an Issue
Yes, it was a peaceful night in our household.
Friday morning, Charlie was slow to get out of bed so I set the iPod touch timer, placed it beside him, and went about my morning business: making, and of course drinking, coffee; cleaning a little in the kitchen; reading over a website I planned to show my students. I didn't hear the timer go off but I did hear feet on the stairs. Charlie was fully dressed, asked to put on his socks, went out to get in the car.
He's been getting himself dressed for the past two-plus school years. I usually leave out his clothes, varying the location. He either finds them on his own or asks me, and I get a little chance to see how his receptive language and ability to follow directions is faring. Sometimes he chooses his own shirt and pants though he tends to choose the same colors of items, or even the same exact few shirts and pants, over and over. I know it's not the biggest of deals and that some people like to wear variations on the same few items of clothing every day, but helping Charlie see that, even in small ways, he doesn't have to do everything the same way all the time, is an important little lesson to practice daily.
(He does, though, have a preference for wearing blue, green, and black, with an occasional orange t-shirt thrown in for good measure.)
In fact, aside from the waking up and getting out of bed business, Charlie pretty much gets himself ready for school. Granted, he doesn't have to worry about combing his hair (the efficiency of a buzz cut) or getting himself breakfast; Charlie never seems to be hungry when he first wakes up these days (though ready for a mid-morning snack around 10am). Now that I think of it, once he's actually out of bed, he pretty much takes care of himself, a small huge deal.
Having left at a reasonable time, Charlie and I drove up to the Big Autism Center just as a few more yellow buses were pulling in, and an aide appeared to take him inside before 8.45am. This left me particularly pleased as it's been awhile that I was able to get to my first class on Tuesday/Friday (those being the days when I drive Charlie to school) with enough time to sit down for a few minutes and review my notes.
The rest of Friday unrolled in a very peaceful way. As we neared home, Charlie said "I want, I want" and then the name of the local grocery store we're still taking a hiatus from. I made inconsequential vocal responses and we ended up back home. He got right out of the car and was in the house soon as I opened the door, and helped himself to soy ice cream and crackers and requested the computer. He went up to his room for a spell and then came down, and led me on a walk. He wanted a long one, and we got back just in time to meet Jim come home off the train, ready for a bike ride.
As on Thursday, I gave Charlie some melatonin around 8pm, over an hour earlier than I had been giving it to him. He told us "bedtime" just around 9.30pm and he meant it—it wasn't a half hour later that I went in to check on a slumbering boy.
Not sure if this is the start of a more routine sleep pattern or a pleasant blip in the midst of the annals of the sleep-deprived. We'll see about Saturday. Third time's the charm, right?