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Our Kids Can't Fall Asleep Alone! - What Parents Should Do?

Updated: Feb 27

Common issue of neurodivergent children not being able to fall asleep alone.

Many parents are struggling with their neurodivergent children's inability to fall asleep alone. This is a common issue that affects many families, but it can be particularly challenging for those with neurodivergent children. Neurodivergent children may have difficulties regulating their emotions and behaviors, which can make it difficult for them to relax and fall asleep on their own. This can be a source of stress for both the child and the parents, leading to a lack of sleep for all involved.

Problems arise when neurodivergent children insist on the parents being present and cannot sleep alone.

When parents insist on being present when their neurodivergent child cannot sleep alone, they may actually be making the problem worse.

Children with neurodivergent conditions often crave routine and structure, and their inability to fall asleep alone can disrupt this structure. Parents may feel that they are helping their child by staying with them, but in reality, they may be creating a vicious cycle where the child becomes dependent on their presence and cannot sleep without it. Which in turn can actually cause more night wakes and overall sleep disturbances. This can also lead to feelings of guilt and frustration for the parents, as they feel that they are not able to help their child in a meaningful way.

Read more: Help Your Neurodivergent Child Transition into Their Own Room: Effective Ways to Ease the Transition

Strategies to Help Neurodivergent Children Sleep Alone

Fortunately, there are strategies that parents can use to help their neurodivergent children sleep alone. The following are some tips that may be helpful:

Establish a routine:

Creating a consistent bedtime routine can be very helpful for neurodivergent children. This routine should include activities such as reading, listening to music, or taking a bath to help the child relax and feel calm.

Encourage independence:

Parents can help their children develop independence by gradually reducing the amount of time they spend in the room at bedtime. This can help the child feel more comfortable and confident in falling asleep on their own.

Use positive reinforcement:

Encouraging and rewarding positive behavior can be a powerful tool in helping neurodivergent children sleep alone. Parents can praise their children for staying in bed and falling asleep on their own.

Read more: How to Make Your Neurodivergent Child's Positive Reinforcement System a Success

Seek professional help:

If the issue persists, parents can seek the help of a professional who specializes in working with neurodivergent children. The Slumber Academy is not just a sleep program, it's a comprehensive resource for parents of neurodivergent children.

In addition, the program provides information and support on a range of related topics, such as nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. By addressing these other factors, The Slumber Academy helps to create a holistic approach to sleep and wellness for your child.

Read more: 5 Myths on Sleep Consulting Preventing Parents to Hire Them

In conclusion, the inability of neurodivergent children to fall asleep alone can be a common and challenging issue for parents. However, by establishing a routine, encouraging independence, using positive reinforcement, and seeking professional help, parents can help their children develop the skills and confidence they need to fall asleep on their own. By doing so, parents can reduce stress, improve sleep for all family members, and promote their child's overall well-being.

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