The facts---Janey again had a sleepless night. She was up from 11 pm to 5 am. I'm a little slaphappy. Here's a few takes on the night....
The completely supportive of my autistic daughter take---
Janey is communicating to me that she has decided to be nocturnal. I celebrate and support her in this choice! We will rearrange our schedules to accommodate her. Tony will probably have to quit his job, and I'll sleep all day and stay up all night. She also has indicated by putting on her shoes in the night and trying to unlock the doors to outside that she wants to go someplace during her wakeful nights. We will put all our resources into figuring out where it is she desires to go, and will of course take her there. It's wonderful to have her communicating all this to us!
The completely self-centered mother take---
I can't take this much longer! Why is Janey doing this to me? Why am I being tortured? I have to find a way to make her sleep so I don't have to go through this any more! And now, I can't even close my eyes for a second as she is constantly trying to "elope" out the door? What fresh hell is this?
The scientific approach---
I am going to analyze the last few days and attempt to form a theory of Janey's sleeplessness. Is she consuming something with caffeine? Has her evening routine been disrupted? Could she be experiencing pre-puberty hormonal changes? I will try changing a few variables and observe the results. With careful work, we should have this figured in a year or two.
The sleep-addled mind approach---
Wahhh? Awake again? Janey, please go back to sleep. We aren't eating right now. What? What's going on? Janey, take off your shoes. Stop trying to open the door. Tony, why don't you go upstairs to sleep so only one of us has to stay awake. (3 hours later) William, please wake up and go get your father. I can't stay awake any longer and I can't leave Janey for a second. Oh, hi, Tony. Thanks for taking over....It's a big...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
The tough love approach---
Janey, you are going to get in that bed right now and close your eyes and sleep. I'm not putting up with any more of this foolishness. You aren't eating anything, you aren't watching videos, you aren't listening to any music. You are SLEEPING! Don't you dare get off that bed! Don't you dare try to open that door! You get back in bed! (inner despair on realizing that Janey could care less if I sound angry and firm, because she doesn't care about pleasing me and knows there really isn't any punishment that works for her, then tiredness takes over and I go right back to the non-working rant) You darn well better listen to me, young lady!
The hybrid approach---
Take a little of each above. Mix them together in random form. Hope against hope something works. Realize nothing is working. Wish that there was some magical new way to handle this. Realize there isn't. Spend the day in a half-awake daze. Have hope tonight will be better, as hope springs eternal.