Erin Lombard
Expert Name: Erin Lombard
Expert Title: Erin Lombard
Company Name:  Step by Step Academy
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Erin Lombard is a Board Certified Bahavior Analyst and a certified Special Education educator currently teaching graduate level Positive Bahavior Support courses at Northern Arizona University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Child and Adolescent Studies and a master’s degree in Special Education obtained in California State University and University of North Texas respectively. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Psychology at Capella University.

Going to Bed

Bed time can be a bit challenging for any child, but especially for a child with autism. Here are a  few steps to help your child catch some ZZZZ’s tonight!

1.Have a consistent routine. Many children with autism thrive on routine. Have a specific routine that you do every night at the same time.
Example:
      6:30 eat dinner
      7:00 watch one TV show
      7:30 take a bath
      8:00 read a story, sing a song
      8:15 lay down in bed to sleep

2.  Visualize this routine. Some children with autism are highly visual learners. Displaying the routine in pictures (or words if your child can read) may help the child transition through the bed time routine. You can take pictures of your child doing the activities, or pictures of the location of the activity. Or find pictures of the activities on Google images on the internet.

3.  Make bedtime especially fun by giving your child his or her favorite toy or stuffed animal.
The trick to making this effective is using the item exclusively at bedtime. Keep a favorite reinforcing toy or stuffed animal up in a special spot during the day. At night, this item will only be taken down and given at bedtime.