As the clock turns. Time-change woes and autism.

By Jennifer Dyer

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Rachel has an amazing internal clock. She can’t tell time. But she knows what time it is.

So, that’s why every time the time changes, the rest of us look as though we’ve been run over by a herd of buffalo.

Eldest fell asleep at the dinner table. Hubby looked as though he had two black eyes from the lack of sleep. I feel as calm as a cat in a den of Dobermans.

And Rachel? It’s almost midnight on day three and she’s still screaming. At some point she will fall over from exhaustion, and we’ll get two or three quiet hours. But for now she is screaming, stomping, spraying water on the bathroom walls, and wanting to go downstairs to do who-knows-what.

Hubby is trying to sleep in her doorway. I’m camped out at the top of the stairs to keep her out of trouble. The dog is keeping our bed warm.

I don’t write this to whine. I write this for others who have kids on the autism spectrum … or off the spectrum, but are thrown into a circadian rhythm blender of fun each time the routine changes.

Sometimes it’s like fighting a hydra. Each time we attack and conquer a challenge, two more take their place.

There are times when I read my Bible in desperate hope for some big answer. It should be in there, shouldn’t it? Some formula to make Rachel better. Some prayer to snap her out of it.

But the reality is that some challenges have no easy solutions. Sometimes it is in the midst of those challenges that our best traits are refined and forged. Sometimes life is hard.

I want the situation to change so it’s not so hard.

What ends up changing in times like these is me. For the better.

I am blessed.

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3 comments

  1. Mom says:

    I have a feeling there are hundreds of parents just like you. My heart goes out to you in these sleepless times. We pray so often for Rachel to sleep. She needs it, too. I can’t see that it does anything for the country and even messes up the sleep to a lesser degree for all children.

  2. I think the Lord has a special sleeping palace in heaven for Moms. Especially moms of Special needs kiddos. There will be vast silk pillows and reading nooks with special lamps and chocolate and hot tea and lots and lots of quiet. I will join you there in heaven Jenn, but I think your room with be more lavish than mine. We have sleep issues, but not as hard. I’m looking forward to it though, all the same.

  3. Jennifer Dyer says:

    Kristen, what beautiful imagery you painted. I’m all sniffly. Thanks!

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