Daylight Saving Time is fast approaching and it comes with change. As any parent of a child with special needs knows, they thrive on routine. Time plays a significant role in routine. Kids know what to expect and when. Twice a year, the clock changes and this can be a very difficult thing for children with special needs.
Whether your child has autism, Asperbers, or other developmental disabilities, Daylight Saving Time can misconstrue everything they know. Their world is a turned upside down until they get adjusted to the new time change.
Are you looking for tips on how help get your special needs child adjusted to Daylight Saving Time? Some of the tips provided here may be able to help.
As AbilityPath.Org reveals on its website, some parents have children begin changing their routines slowly a month in advance of the Daylight Saving Time. Parents gradually set their clocks back in 15-minute increments.
Bog Bit had some good tips for helping your special needs child adjust to Daylight Saving Time. One of the four tips listed was to maintain the normal routine no matter what the clock says. If dinner will be an hour behind after the time change, then stick with the normal time frame.
The second tip on the website reflects the tip given by AbilityPath.Org, which is to start putting kids to bed 5-to-15 minutes earlier ahead of the Daylight Savings Time date. If bedtime is at 8 p.m., for instance, put them to bed at 7:55 p.m. Do the same again the next night and move it to 10 minutes and then 15 minutes before bedtime. In doing this, your children’s bodies will adjust more smoothly to the time change. This should also help make your life a bit easier, as well.
Another tip in adjusting special needs children to daylight saving time is to make them go back to bed if they wake up too early in the morning. One mother swore by this, saying that her kids didn’t like going back to bed and didn’t return to sleep. She said that even if they didn’t fall back to sleep, they were able to lie there quietly until she gave them the go-ahead to get up.
One of the hardest tips relayed to parents is this: try to stay patient. Raising special needs children is incredibly difficult. It requires a lot of consistency with a calm demeanor. Daylight Saving Time can be hard on everyone involved, so it’s vital that parents keep control of their emotions. Stress will cause children to act up even more when they sense impatience, making it crucial to remember to be patient during the process.
Lastly, consistency and time work hand-in-hand when it comes to supporting special needs children and Daylight Saving Time. Sometimes, all you can do when you’ve done everything else is to wait it out. Give it time and eventually your child will get accustomed to the new hours. In all, it’s usually no longer than week in most cases for a child to get used to the time change.
One other thing to keep in mind with special needs children is that they do well with incentives. If they need to go to bed earlier or stay in bed a little longer, give them a good incentive to do so. Daylight Saving Time is a good reason to use this one. Is there a special place they like to go visit? A treat they enjoy on occasion? Is there something that they really want you to buy them? Use that to your advantage as an enforcer. Tell your child that if he or she first does the task that you’re asking, that they’ll get that special thing in return.
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