The importance of sleep.

Polar bear’s school decided to send most of the school on a residential trip. We had a discussion and, although they want him to attend, they didn’t feel they would be able to properly look after him overnight. This wasn’t surprising as bedtime has always been a difficult time for Polar bear. We agreed that it would be best to take him up on the Saturday and bring him back that same afternoon. He would get to participate in the bulk of the activities without the worry of managing during the night.

The week before we got a letter saying that, because he would miss out on the Friday and Sunday events, they wanted him to join the younger students on their school trip, that Friday. This is one of the reasons we love this school. They wanted to make up for the bits that he would be missing.

Friday came and Polar bear went on the school trip to a mining event. It went well. He tends to manage better with younger children anyway, it was a small group and mining is one of his interests.

Saturday was an early start as Polar bear had to be at the residential trip by 8:30am. He spent the whole day participating in outdoor activities and left about 8pm. He arrived back home at 10 and was, understandably, very tired. He’d had a great time and had been very well behaved.

Sunday he was woken up early by his noisy Monkey brother, so he didn’t get any extra sleep. We had a quiet (if you can call it that with 3 energetic boys) day, we stayed in, it snowed, Polar bear had a good day.

Monday was back to school. It lasted till 10am before the school phoned us to come pick him up; he was having a meltdown. We were surprised he lasted that long to be honest. The school were understanding, they guessed he was tired as they said ‘he wasn’t talking back like he usually does’. It was obvious:

Lack of sleep = meltdown.

So we brought him home, ran him a bath, fed him and let him chill out in his room for the rest of the day. He refused to take a nap, again no surprise here. I’m glad he went on the trips but lots of outdoor exercise, socialising, change of routine and lack of sleep all took it’s toll, I’m just glad the meltdown wasn’t worse. He’s come a long way.

For months Polar bear has been complaining about not being allowed to stay up past 8pm, we explained that he needed the sleep, we know from previous experience that staying up too late makes him meltdown the next day, that’s one of the reasons why he doesn’t go to clubs during the school week. I know myself that being too tired makes me crabby and meltdown. Sleep is important, especially so for ASD and PDA kids. Hopefully Polar bear will realise this and not complain as much about having to go to bed before 8pm. Hopefully he’ll get a good night’s sleep and have a better day tomorrow.

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