We have a five year old daughter who has had serious sleep issues since she was six months old - hardly sleeping at all at night, never napping, waking for the day before 5 a.m., etc. We tried everything from all the sleep books, talked to our doctors, read everything we could get our hands on and none of it worked. She was diagnosed with autism when she was three years old and we continued to work on a variety of challenges. She progressed in many ways, butthe sleep challenge remained. We were exhausted after almost four years of little or regularly broken sleep hours.
Early this year, we purchased the Good Nite Light after seeing it in Parents magazine. Within a week, our daughter was sleeping through the night and wasn't waking (or at least calling for us) until the sun turned yellow and "told" her it was daytime.
We have been so grateful for the Good Nite Light and the huge positive effects it's had on our whole family. She used to be the one telling everyone in the house when we were going to sleep and when we were going to start our day.
Now, the night light does that job very well and it's visual effects (turning yellow or blue) have been very helpful for her to recognize what it's telling her! We even took it with us on vacation recently when we were losing a few hours traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast and were sure it would mess up her sleep patterns. It kept her on track on vacation, and again when we returned home two weeks later - the routine and predictability of the night light helped her know when it was time to sleep and when it was time to be awake, no matter where she was.
Thank you for your invention of this night light!
First let me say, that Noah loves his light and so does his neurotypical (unaffected by autism to date) brother. They love the look, the face on the sun/moon, the colors: I think they feel like it is more of a toy than anything, which for kids, of course is all that matters.
Just to provide a bit of background information that you may or may not be aware of...Autism is a 'spectrum disorder', each and every child has his or her own 'flavor' of the disorder. We know several other families with children on the spectrum and not one is like the other. Some have simple verbal delays, some may never speak, some sleep well but don't eat well, some eat great but never sleep...so the challenges inherent to this disorder are vast and evolutionary to the child and their own personal struggle. I only point that out, so you can better understand how your tool will help children on the spectrum.
To answer your question about whether it has helped or not, let me say this - it absolutely has helped us with his morning wake-ups. My family and I are very blessed that Noah falls on the Autistic Spectrum, at the high end. What this means, is that Noah's cognitive abilities have not been impacted, but his ability to receptively and expressively express himself have been, through a verbal delay. Thus explaining to him that orange means you can get up and blue means you must stay in bed, came very easily, simply because he could entirely understand that concept from the start. Some parents of children on the spectrum might have a harder time explaining this to a child (ie, they might not yet know their colors), but I think for what it is worth, you have put the best of every learning tool into this nitelite and if anything is going to work for a child on the spectrum, this will be it as they are all visual learners. Thankfully Noah has not been a child who was challenged with the inability to fall asleep, sleep through the night or take naps. However, with that being said, he has always been a early morning riser, very early.
Our challenge has always been to keep him in his bed until it was an appropriate time to wake up - ie, 6am vs. 5am or earlier. Now with the nitelite we have been able to slowly move the time forward so that even if he wakes, he knows it is not time to get 'out' of his bed. Furthermore, it has given us the freedom to take him anywhere for slumber parties and be assured he will stay in his bed, until the orange sun comes on. We have taken his nitelite to his aunt's as well as his grandparents, and later this month, it will travel with us for our family vacation.
The nitelite has been an invaluable tool for Noah and for us. Now, not only does he know to stay in his bed, but it has given our 5-year-old the freedom to leave his room by himself when the sun does come on. Both Rick and I noted that Noah likes the independence he feels by being able to walk out of his room, without us having to come and get him.
We are fans of your nitelite and absolutely believe this product will help all children, especially those on the spectrum with sleep challenges.
Thanks so much.
Amy & Rick
Case Study: Good Nite Lite Provides Alternative Solution for Sleep Issues Associated with Hearing Impairment
Lisa Petrovich, a resident of Alpharetta, Georgia, is a mother of a three-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy who knows all about the problems young children often have with sleep. When her son was just 18 months, he lost hearing abilities and received one cochlear implant – small, complex electronic devices that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing – and a hearing aid in the other ear. Before bed every night, the implant and hearing aid have to be removed, making communication difficult.
The types of sleep problems encountered with children who are deaf are usually the same as those with children with full hearing – difficulties getting the children in bed at an appropriate time, trouble achieving sleep independently, frequent waking during the night and waking of the parents.