Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another Question from a Parent

Lori writes:

My question is about my 4 yod with FASD. How can I get her to stay asleep at night and not cause mischief at 3 a.m? I tried a door alarm - but she slams the door so hard that it falls down. I bought a laser beam alarm, but haven't been able to install it because our old farm house doesn't have many electrical outlets. I really need her to stay in her bed because she is currently sharing a room with her little brother and he isn't fully able to defend himself yet.... and she really needs the sleep too (o.k. its me- I, I need the sleep). Anybody have any suggestions?

While we are at it - does anyone know how to keep a kid buckled in a car seat? (My mother was killed in a car crash and I am a fanatic about staying buckled)


Blogger FAScinated said...

We have the same issues here and I don't have all the answers but I can tell you what we've tried and what some of my friends have tried with their kids who have FASD.

First of all, both of my kids who have FASD are now on sleep medications and it has greatly improved MY life (and I'd like to think their lives as well!). Most kids with FASD have significant sleep issues (sleep is a brain function) and non-prescription melatonin might help, but more often clonidine or a similar prescription medication might significantly improve their ability to fall asleep and to stay asleep.

My 4 year old daughter who has FASD was in a crib as long as we could keep her in it but she is now in a bed. We found that giving her a bed tent gave her a visible boundary and a more secure feeling for sleep. Here's a picture of the tent we use. http://www.tinkertots.com/scabedte.html

We also have alarms on some of our doors and windows so that we can be sure that she isn't getting out at night. Other parents have said that they have put two child gates (one on top of the other) in the child's bedroom doorway at night. Another mom that I know got a dog for her child and the dog was trained to sleep with the child and to get up when she got up. You might also find that a weighted blanket might help her to stay in bed (weight helps some of these kids calm themselves.)

It is so hard to parent kids who need supervision 24/7 and you need to remember that you need sleep as well! Good luck! ~Kari

12:37 PM  
Blogger Shon said...

I have a 4 year old with FASD. His behaviors have been extreme and we used medication to help him - starting with his sleep. We recently came across an all natural product that we have been using and have seen A LOT of improvements in our son. So much improvemnt that it is like having a new child. It is a powder that we mix into a drink and he loves it. It has aided with his sleep so much that he is off his sleep medication and sleeping through the night. It is a whole food concentrate so it is the same as if he were eating a peice of fruit. After seeing his amazing results, I have the whole family on the product. I can say that I am sleeping better also. If you would like more info - send me a personal email and I will look up the website and send it to you. You can email me at shon@guardmouse.com

5:17 PM  
Blogger Casa de Chaos said...

Try calcium/magnesium/zinc for sleep--it seems to help them relax enough to sleep. YOU CAN also get an alarm for her bed that will go off if she gets up.

The trick with latches for carseats, etc, is to buckle them in back of the kid (& preferably the seat as well). If yours can adjust to do this it's great--otherwise you may need to use something like a lifevest buckled in back. HTH! Leslie Sirag

4:35 AM  
Blogger FAScinated said...

I forgot to address the carseat issue. Our 4 yr old daughter who has FASD does not have the growth deficiency associated with FAS...in fact, she is at the top of the growth charts! The carseats for her size body were all just too easy for her to escape from so we accessed a grant through our county and bought this carseat for her-


(as you can see it is very expensive so check with your county's DD department for available grants. The one we received *in Minnesota* was called "The Family Support Grant".)

This carseat has a 5 point harness system so it takes her longer to excape from and it is safer for her than the booster type seats that kids her size would normally use.

Our county's community health department has a carseat expert who trains on proper use of carseats for area daycare and foster care providers. You might want to check with your county to see if they have someone who can help you find the right seat for your child. ~Kari

6:42 AM  
Blogger Claudia said...

Adoptive mom, Kelly, who has, I believe, 14 children, writes:

The car seat part is actually the easiest, in my opinion. One thing we do is pull off the road if someone is out of the seatbelt. It might take 3
hours to make a 20 minute trip, but eventually the point is made - usually.

However, there are some kids who just don't get it, no matter how hard you try. For those kids, it may be necessary to invest in another car seat. There are some - like Britax - that advertise that "little ones can't unbuckle them."

Now, for the little night wanderer. We had the same problem with our son Zack. From the time he moved in, Zack would get up in the middle of the
night and wander around the house. Sometimes, he was destructive. ometimes, he merely turned on every light in the entire house. He's now
10 and still wanders, but not nearly as frequently. Finding the right medication for him helped incredibly. Zack takes an anti-anxiety drug that helps him calm down enough to go to sleep. Another of our children arrived with prescription for sleep aids. The side effect is that he still, at 13, wets the bed. You might want to talk with your child's pediatrician to see what options might work for your child.

12:48 PM  

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