Magazine article The Exceptional Parent , Vol. 39, No. 5
SC has a 16-month-old daughter who was diagnosed with Williams syndrome when she was about five months old and has always had sleep troubles. She requires being bounced to sleep in a bouncer, she doesn't fall asleep until at least 11 p.m., and she has started waking up at least one to two times a night. SC wants to know how she can get her daughter to sleep again and how she can get her to soothe herself back to sleep. She is wondering if the cry-it-out method works with children with disabilities.
For me the answer is a big "NO!" I am the mother of a 14-year-old boy with severe cerebral palsy. After 11 years of very little sleep, trying every trick in the book (sleeping with him, letting him cry it out), I finally asked his doctor for a medication that worked great for me! It is an anxiety medicine called Xanax, typically given for people with an anxiety disorder (panic attacks). It is used mostly during the day, but we gave it to my son at night to help him relax. We did not tell his teachers so they could assess if they found him groggy at school, (he is always tired for us by the time he gets home). …