My life revolves around my kids and their special needs. Some of these pertain to sleeping habits. Hugh loves to get under a heavy blanket most cold nights, but you can imagine that when it is warmer in the summer, it is too much of a covering. He gets hot and wakes up repeatedly through the night. That means I am also up to check on him and I don’t get a good night’s sleep. Most parents understand this dilemma. I can get up and remove the blanket but come back in an hour and it is still there. I resorted to a ceiling fan to keep him cool on hot nights, even when he persists in his blanket habit. I did some searching and found a site called First Rate Fans that helped me choose the right ceiling fan for his room. He seems to sleep more soundly and then I can get back into bed. But I don’t until things are just right.
I installed the fan so it has two ways to operate. There is a switch on the wall that controls speed and the light that is in the center. Of course, we don’t want that to go on during the night so the control is in the off position. I also have a remove for Hugh and am hoping he will learn to use it on his own as he grows older. He has to learn to be the master of his own fate at night. For kids with autism, controlling their environment is very important from an early age. This need continues on as they mature. They can’t always depend on their parents. Older kids I meet express a desire to do things their way and it is not always the choice of their mother or father. In my house, the kids decide what games they play, when they want to go outside, when they want to invite someone over, what they eat, and when they go to bed within about a half hour range. I love the independence. It solves a lot of problems and you don’t always have to dictate to them what they can do. It is not in their nature to respond to tight control. I am in complete agreement. The ceiling fan should be part of this self-reliance. I want Hugh to know how it works, when it should be on, and how to adjust the speed according to the room’s temperature.
Hugh loves the look of the fan and of course the breeze it creates. In the winter, the blanket takes its place as a focal point of bedtime attention. I don’t think I will ever break him of the habit of a heavy cover. It gives him warmth first and foremost, but also security and a feeling of safety and contentment. I wonder if he will ever outgrow this. I suppose not. Oddly enough, my other son only likes to cover himself with a sheet. I love to see the differences between my boys. My life is a day-to-day mystery as to what each one will do.