M has a sleep study coming up this Saturday. It was supposed to be last week, but we had an emergency and had to reschedule. Sleep disturbances are VERY common with autism but an autism specialist pediatrician here suggested he have a sleep study to rule out any comorbid conditions like obstructive sleep apnea or night time seizures. The Menininho takes 2.5 mg of melatonin in order to fall asleep at night (otherwise it can take hours), but still wakes every few hours during the night. Luckily, he doesn’t get out of bed or (usually) wake us up.
We’re kind of sleep study pros in this house (and I still need to update here about mine!). Having been through 5 now between J and myself, I had a pretty good idea about potential sensory issues for the Menininho. So, I created a social story for him about what to expect. Feel free to use/adapt this for your own purposes.
My doctor wants to see how I sleep at night, so Mommy and I are going to spend the night at the hospital.
We will go after dinner and pack a backpack with my PJs, toothbrush, pillow, stuffed animals, books, and a snack.
Mommy and I will sleep in the same room. I will have a big boy bed with rails so I feel safe. There will be a TV in the room, a bathroom, and a table.
First I will get dressed for bed and brush my teeth. Then a nurse will come in to help me. She will give me a doll. As the nurse gets me ready for the sleep study, I can get the doll ready. Before the nurse does anything to me, I can try it out on the doll.
The nurse will put some stickers on my legs and chest. I will also get a little red light wrapped around my toe. Then, I will get some stickers near my eyes and chin. I’ll get a little sticker mustache too! The nurse will put a little microphone near my neck. I’ll also get two stretchy bands around my chest.
Then, it will be time for my hair jewelry! The nurse will use a crayon to make marks on my head.Then, she’ll use a q-tip to put some special glue on my head. On top of the glue will go a little gold circle. I will get 8 gold circles on my head. Finally, the nurse will put a stretchy cap over my head to protect the hair jewelry.
There will be many wires, but the nurse will tie them away from me.
The nurse will leave and Mommy will read me some stories and sing me songs, just like at home. Then it will be time for bed!
If I need anything during the night, Mommy will be right there. In the morning the nurse will take my stickers off, Mommy will clean my hair in the bathroom, and then we’ll get some breakfast. The end!
Hopefully this helps the test go more smoothly. The Menininho seems pretty excited about it, too!