Monday, January 2, 2017

Autism and Sleep

Autism and sleep

Sleep for my autistic son has always been associated with puzzling timing, inconsistent location, and varying results.  Now that he is sixteen years of age, much of these challenges have been minimized, but some still remain.  As with much of Anton’s challenges, we consider ourselves to be lucky as compared with other wild stories of sleepless autism nights with other kids. I recently took some time to ponder the joys of autism and sleep.

Sleeping by himself in his earlier years delivered the most inconsistencies and surprises. He could have nights where he slept solid and undisturbed as I often do. The next night, however, something completely different might happen.

I certainly did not have many nights like this as a child or even a teen. Interrupted sleep was something to plague me on off nights when thoughts of unfinished business or past obsessions took over my mind. I suppose his sleeping habits could be compared to that of an adult with much on the mind. I for one can relate to nights where I fall asleep easily, only to be woken up by thoughts and not able to return to slumber.

My son now begins his nights in his own bed in his own room. He often makes the request of “couch?”, hoping that we will allow him to sleep on the couch, or “Poppa’s room?” hoping to sleep with me. We regretfully have to decline to help with breaking these habits. Most commonly, his routine is to fall asleep and then wake at five a.m. He then exchanges his bed for the couch in the living room, and turns on the earliest morning cartoons on PBS. We have accepted this compromise and have called it a success.

Author Mark Ferdinand

Mark Ferdinand lives on the South Texas coast with his wife, daughter and son. Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, carving, auto and home repair occupy his spare time. He has written on the topic of autism spectrum disorder from a father’s perspective in parenting articles and in other non-fiction venues.
Autism author
Autism author Mark Ferdinand

Having limited typical communication skills, his son introduced Mark to new ways of interpreting his needs and aspirations. As his son grew older Mark became fascinated by the story potential within these amazing children. This prompted the creation of a dynamic adventure story focusing on a character with autism.
Mark also has a non-fiction work entitled You’re Gonna’ Get Bit! Harrowing Tales of Herpetology.
From chasing frogs as a child, to milking venomous snakes for a living, Mark Ferdinand explores a lifetime of tales from the world of reptiles and amphibians. Whether it’s a quest for his first turtle, keeping crocodiles in his closet, or chasing snakes around the workplace, You’re Gonna’ Get Bit! has a story that all “herpers” and nature lovers can relate to and enjoy.

Autism Novel Summary 

Denny was diagnosed with autism at three years of age. Autism gave him the gift of obsession. This gift made him the youngest, self-made millionaire in Texas history. Autism also made him vulnerable to the forces of the outside world, of both society and nature. 

Fortune on the Spectrum is the journey of an unstoppable young man, destined to succeed and challenged to survive. Denny's story takes you through struggle, humor, love, and danger from the voice of an atypical mind.

Books by Mark Ferdinand are available here:

Amazon Page


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