I could totally get on board with Reece’s OCD bedtime routine…if he wouldn’t change it up on me so frequently! Tonight, I just followed him around b/c he was so upset, he could not vocalize what needed to happen in what order:
Lotion needed to be put on his finger from the bottle. Not from us. Then he just wanted to hold it on his finger. For a long time.
He walked over and petted each dog (Remi and then Trinity).
Then he needed more lotion. Again, put on his finger from the bottle. It was not acceptable if we put the lotion on our finger first and then try to give it to him.
He walked over to the dogs in the living room again and gave them each a pet in the same order. Remi first, then Trinity.
He walked to his room next and checked his music box before he could come back to the kitchen for a drink of water.
I carried him to bed, put him in his crib. And now, this I expected; he said “watu” and we had to go back to the kitchen for one more sip.
Sometimes at this point, he requests more lotion. Lately, we repeat walking to his crib, he lays down and then wants lotion and water. We’ll do this more than 5x before he’s satisfied.
It becomes mentally exhausting, guessing what kind of routine Reece will need to happen before he can settle down for the night. He’s tired at this point and screams/cries and maybe doesn’t know what he wants so I have to guess what he needs and he cries ‘no’ to anything and works himself up into a panic.
Older brother sleeps in the room with him and is many times understanding. But sometimes he’s not, and at no fault to him, just wants to sleep without the chaos. Older Brother gets angry or wants to join us walking circles which makes Reece even more wound up and farther away from getting any sleep when people are present. I often offer for them to sleep in separate rooms, but Older Brother does not want this.
With Reece starting a new in-home therapy with TEACCH, UNC’s Autism Program, I’m hoping Mr. R will be able to help me with this soon.