Wake Up Sunshine!

From Katrina: Here’s a random topic of conversation: waking up a sleeping child in the playroom. This doesn’t happen too often, but for some families it does. So obviously, occasionally, it happens here at the Autism Treatment Center of America. This week we have an adorable Australian cutie who has the amazing ability to fall into a deep sleep at the drop of a hat.

Now, normally if the child is above napping age we encourage them to stay awake the whole day. We will play more energetic games, offer food and drink, lower the room temperature and up our Son Rise Program 3 E’s. However, if all of that happens and the child persists in sleeping, we let them….for a few minutes.

Yesterday after all of my crazy antics the child unbelievably fell asleep on me (if I didn’t believe I have control over my attitude or if I made unnecessary assumptions – I might have taken it personally – who wants to miss a second of Katrina time 🙂 ) So, I let him sleep. I gave him ten minutes of peaceful uninterrupted dreamland while I tidied the room and prepared for “the awakening.”

Then I began the process of waking this little guy up. I explained to him everything I was doing and why (e.g. “I am going to gently shake your body because its time to wake up, sleeping is for bedtime. When we are in the playroom its fun to play”or “you can do anything you want to in the room, but I want you to wake up so you can sleep at night”) Then I sang “good morning to you” to the tune of Happy Birthday. When this had little effect, I upped the energy. I sang louder, shook a little harder, gave him rubs all over his body (while still explaining what I was about to do). I blew the smell of warm toast under his nose. I brought down noisy instruments and started drumming. Then I told him “I want to give you blanket rides to help wake up your body, so I am going to lift you up on the count of three” – I felt his body tense, so I know knew he was awake. I playfully called him on this “hey, mister I know you are awake, now come and play with me”. When I went to lift him again – he sat up!!!!! I then continued with games to help his body become fully awake.

So, you can see that we can wake a child up while still having fun and giving them as much control as possible. If you are wanting your child to sleep more at night and less during the day, give these techniques a try.

Have fun sleepyheads!

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