Ease into Daylight Savings Time with These Tips
Lose an hour. Gain peace of mind.
The countdown to Daylight Savings Time has begun. This year it starts on Sunday, March 12, at 2:00 a.m. The time change is a mere inconvenience for many of us, when we loose an hour of sleep and have to adjust the clocks on our appliances. For others, especially parents of children with autism, it’s much more complicated.
Kids with autism count on structure and predictability when it comes to their day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, the time change will affect their bedtime routine and sleep pattern. To reduce stress on your child and your whole family, you should take steps now to help prepare your child for the time change and any other adjustments to their bedtime routine.
We know how tough it can be, so our autism experts have pulled together six easy tips to help you navigate the time change with your child. Parent Training can also come in handy. We can teach you the basics of ABA therapy and how to use it with your child at home or when you’re out and about.
Ready to take a look? You can do this!
5 Tips for Preparing Kids with Autism for Daylight Savings Time
#1 – Start preparing early. It’s important to start as early as possible, as much as two weeks ahead. Begin adjusting your child’s bedtime by 15 minutes every other day until you reach the new bedtime. This gradual adjustment will help your child’s body adapt to the new schedule more easily.
# 2 – Stick to your routine. As we mentioned above, children with autism thrive on routine and structure, and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine can help them feel secure and calm. Make sure to follow a consistent bedtime routine every night, including activities such as taking a bath, reading a book, and saying goodnight.
#3 – Use visual aids. Children with autism often benefit from visual aids to help them understand and follow routines. Use pictures or a visual schedule to help your kiddo understand the steps involved in getting ready for bed. This can help them feel more in control and confident about the bedtime routine.
#4 – Create a calm environment. Create a relaxing and calming environment in your child’s bedroom to help them fall asleep more easily. Dim the lights, use a white noise machine or calming music, and ensure that the room is cool and comfortable.
#5 – Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime. Things like watching TV, playing video games, and using other electronic devices can be too exciting before bedtime. They can make it harder for your child to wind down and fall asleep. Instead, opt for calming activities, such as reading a book or drawing.
#6 – Be patient and consistent. It may take some time for your child to adjust to the new sleep schedule, so it’s important to be patient and consistent. Stick to the routine, even on weekends or days off from school. Consistency is key in helping your child feel secure and confident in their bedtime routine.
If you have any questions or need additional support, let your ABA therapist know or contact us. We’ve been helping children with autism and their families for more than 20 years through expert, caring, and fun ABA therapy – the gold standard of care.
Sweet dreams from our family to yours!