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kary
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08 Jul 2009, 3:21 pm

maybe someone has some suggestions that can help me.

my 8 year old son has asperger's. Mornings can be hell @ my house. I already get up an hour earlier than i have to wake him up to give him his medicine (he has adhd also). I lay his clothes, shoes, and socks out for him ahead of time. But when it comes time to wake him up is when the circus begins. I rub his back, and softly call his name. explain that it is time to get up and get dressed. (he argues with me @ first, very logically that he is tired) ....i explaine that i understand he still feels tired, but that we have to get going. (he does get 8 to 10 hrs of sleep most nights). I have to coax him off the top bunk (i am only 4'10" so i cant just pick him up off the top bunk) ....once he is up he is very whiney (very loud and whiney)...I usually dress him myself (i know this is a no no, but it is just easier)....the routine is the same (wake up times, breakfast, leaving in the a.m.)....except for my days off....We are on a rewards system...ge gets marbles for getting up and dressing self....and other tasks he completes with out problems.....some days this works, and some days he could care less about the "stupid marbles" (as he calls them on the bad days)....Is this something he will grow out of in time....or am i doing something wrong with the way i am helping him through the a.m. transitions?



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08 Jul 2009, 4:24 pm

First let me say it sounds like you are doing alot right and everything takes longer with a kid with AS. What I do with my Auttie son is I go in to his room and tell him I'll be back in 5 mins to give you your pills, then I leave for 5 mins and do something like set-u his backpack or make sure his shoes are by the door. Then back in to the loins den I go I turn on the light and the radio at this point and give im his pils and tell him I'll be back in 10 mins to take you to the bathroom then I leave and go do what ever else I need to do. I don't stay and fight with him or try and sweet talk him out of bed. Then I come back and it's time to got to the bathroom and most mornings he does with out too much trouble. If he wants to get back in to bed for a few mins it's fine and I just give him a time I'll be back to bring him to the table to eat reminding him he's just wasting his free time that he could be using to watch cartoons or play on the internet. This works for us most mornings. This morning how ever he did hide his clothes and I have yet to find them. lol



kary
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08 Jul 2009, 4:53 pm

that is something (ironically) I havent tried....i will try it though and see how it goes.
kaelib used to hide my car keys....every morning....very frustrating



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08 Jul 2009, 5:41 pm

I'll second that. You're doing fine. What you're describing is a fairly typical aspie morning.

My older son 8 has adhd (ritalin) as well and we have similar problems.
Funnily enough, we have worse problems with his younger brother 5 with hfa.

All you can do is supervise them when changing - and have them do it in a room without distractions (Tv or toys). If you can't get your other work done, then you'll have to duck in and out every five minutes.



kary
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08 Jul 2009, 6:01 pm

lol....just had another (mild) moment....we cooked out on the grill tonight...as we do often in the summer....kaelib used to freak out about hot dogs being burnt.....so i pay careful attention as to NOT burn any of the hot dogs on the grill (except for the ones I plan on eating)....he just questioned the grill marks on his hot dog again...before complying and eating them....I dont believe it is the "burnt hotdogs" per say.....it is the "grill marks"...and I dont say that it is because they taste bad (he is eating as I type this)....Im wondering if it is the sight, and texture of a hot dog cooked on the grill verses boiled in water....maybe I'll just start boiling his and cooking everyone elses on the grill....



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08 Jul 2009, 6:51 pm

Ahh yes, this topic again.

Allow me to inform you about the wonders of something called a delayed sleep phase syndrome. That is just a fancy way of saying that the body clock doesnt run on a 24 hour cycle. Many people with autism dont naturally wake up and fall asleep on a 24 hour cycle like a normal person would. I know myself that I operate best on a 26 hour schedule. For example, I got up at 7 am this morning. If I go to sleep tonight when I am tired then I will be up till 1 am. Then if I fail to set my alarm clock, I will not wake up till 9 am. Then I will go to sleep at 3 am, get up at 11 am, go to sleep at 5 am, get up at 1 pm, etc.

As you can see, if I dont set an alarm, and force myself to go to sleep, I will naturally stay up and sleep 2 hours later each day. I know this is the case because it is what happens on vacations where I dont set my alarm clock. It isnt as though I am lazy, I can't change my body clock and suddenly get tired earlier, I have no control over it. I am just stuck in 26 hour mode, which basically means I have a 2 hour jet leg every morning. A lot of people with autism will tell you the exact same thing. What it all comes down to is that we arent morning people.

The best way to fix this is to make mornings as gentle and gradual as possible.

What I have done is get a CD alarm. It plays a CD instead of an alarm at a set time, you can get them at any store that sells electronics. I then burned my own CD with some nice long song (20+ mins). I have a couple songs on the CD, different styles, but they are all things which I enjoy listening to. They are also upbeat, no soft lullabies or anything like that. Before I burned the CD however, I changed the audio so that it would start off softly (low volume) then gradually increase over time and get louder and louder.

So, all that to say. At 7 am, my CD player starts up and begins playing a nice song very very softly, and then slowly over time it gets louder and louder. It helps to wake me up in a gradual, and comfortable way.

I also used a desktop lamp with a dim bulb and a timer. I recommend getting one of those. I got the brinks one from walmart for 10$ Basically it is just a clock with 2 plugs in the back. At a certain time, power goes through, and then goes off when you program it to. It is used to make your lights turn on and off when you arent home. But I use it to wake up in the mornings. I just set it to turn on at 7:05, and plugged a lamp with a dim bulb into the back. It helps to create a more energetic waking up atmosphere without being blindingly bright when you first wake up.



gramirez
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08 Jul 2009, 7:01 pm

kary wrote:
lol....just had another (mild) moment....we cooked out on the grill tonight...as we do often in the summer....kaelib used to freak out about hot dogs being burnt.....so i pay careful attention as to NOT burn any of the hot dogs on the grill (except for the ones I plan on eating)....he just questioned the grill marks on his hot dog again...before complying and eating them....I dont believe it is the "burnt hotdogs" per say.....it is the "grill marks"...and I dont say that it is because they taste bad (he is eating as I type this)....Im wondering if it is the sight, and texture of a hot dog cooked on the grill verses boiled in water....maybe I'll just start boiling his and cooking everyone elses on the grill....


I can relate. I absolutely cannot stand grill marks. They make the food taste horrible, and have a disgusting texture. What you can do is simply put a piece of aluminum foil on the grill, and set the food that you want to cook for him on the foil. No grill marks, and you can cook all the food together. :)


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kary
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08 Jul 2009, 7:27 pm

wow! a lot of great ideas.....i can relate to the a.m. thing myself....when i was a teenager my alarm clock played the radio....so i woke up to music...that worked awsome for me....was irritated at having to wake up....but did wake up in a lil better mood....i recently connected my horrible moods in the a.m. to my alarm clock that i have/had now....it maked a horrible irritating sound....everymorning i was totally pissed and irritated when I had to wake up....then i baught this cordless phone...noticed it not only had many different ring tones, but that it had an alarm you could set on it....so I've been using it for about two weeks, and I might add that I wake up in a much better mood....although the idea of waking up is still irritating to me.....

As for the foil on the grill....awsome idea...i feel like an idiot for not thinking of that myself!! !!

Thanks everyone



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09 Jul 2009, 10:00 am

Mornings are tough in our house too. So much so, that this morning when my sons woke me up, all playful and happy (we're on summer vacation), my husband came upstairs amazed to hear laughing in the morning! I hate mornings and so do my sons.

You are already doing most of the things that we do too, to ease that horrible transition from comfy bed to cold, cruel world. One thing we have discovered recently is to "blame the clock". Instead of my sons taking all their anger and frustration out on me in the morning, because Mom says it is time to get dressed and Mom says eat breakfast. It is now the horrible clock, who keeps ticking away, making us all do these things by certain times. It sounds funny, but it has helped, because now we are on a team working together against the clock, rather than it being me they feel resentment towards and fight against. We have a visual morning schedule posted that they can also refer to (or I can refer them to) rather than having to keep telling them what to do next (too much talking in the morning is bad for us!). All the same, I still have to keep redirecting them and it's still tough, but not as bad as it used to be.



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12 Jul 2009, 2:54 am

For the grill thing, I find the grill marks add extra flavour :)


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15 Jul 2009, 5:17 am

When I was small...about kindergarten, or grade 1, I drove everyone nuts every morning...I took forever getting dressed, I "counted my rice krispies or cheerios", etc...I made me and my sister miss the bus a few times.


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17 Jul 2009, 1:59 am

Haaa
sounds familiar. :B
Sorry to tell you: it might be a while. Like, until school's over. Forever. Best thing you can do, I think, is threaten to pour cold water on him. Or come in to his room singing loudly, that always woke me up pretty well when my mom did it. (It was energetic, so I didn't feel sleepy anymore) But the water threat ALWAYS worked.


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17 Jul 2009, 11:39 am

Just thought a little hope was called for :)

My AS son, now 12, USED to be a horror in the mornings and then one year he decided to change it. He made a decision that he preferred being at school early to get properly settled in. At that point, even though mornings remained hard for him, he became a partner in figuring out how to make it all go better. Self-motivation is a great thing.

It also helped that when school schedules changed we switched from me being in charge of his morning to my husband being in charge (I get our daughter to school, instead - different time). They have a different rhythm together, and it seems to work better.


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17 Jul 2009, 2:05 pm

I wasn't a morning person when I had to get up early. My mom would pick out my clothes and dress me and it take me a while to come downstairs because I be so tired I take me a while to be motivated to get moving.



kosta
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22 Jul 2009, 11:56 am

we have issues with our stepdaughter too

she doesnt want to get out of bed, and when she does she wanders aimlessly. changing her mind about her clothes, staring a ta wal, in the mirror, asking random questions which delay her.

we tried a timer to have her breakdown tasks, tried to reward her for things

nothing has really helped, next year she has to take the bus on her own, i don't know how she's going to do it.