My six-year-old son won’t sleep in his own bed, so we have been letting him sleep with us. How can we work on moving him back to his own room? He has sensory issues and always wants to be near me. —Jenny
Dear Jenny, This issue of children with sensory issues not being able to sleep on their own is a common one among children who have sensory differences. Sleeping is one of the physical tasks of self-regulation and when any one or combination of a child’s sensory systems is not working efficiently or effectively, then sleep is likely to be disrupted. One of the most common ways that sensory differences impact sleep is from what we call tactile/touch processing differences. Some children need more touch input so they can feel where they are in space (their own body awareness is poor) and other children have touch sensitivities (their sense of touch is over-responding). In both cases, having a parent close to them offers the warm, firm, pressure that helps to calm touch sensitivities OR it gives them the added feedback about their own position so they can rest and relax into sleep.
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