A couple of weeks prior to this, Ethan began a summer preschool program at Easter Seals. The drive is about 35 minutes, and he would get very anxious on this "long" drive. So, I came up with the idea to give him a map to help him realize where he was at in his journey. You can read more about this on my post titled Maps. Since that first map, we have created many more, and we now have a variety for Ethan to choose from....although he loves to receive a new one.
Who knew that these two situations would collide?! In order to help Ethan understand what he should do if he gets out of bed before his parents (which is happening nightly....about 3am), my husband built off of our map idea! Since he does the bedtime routine and is excellent at explaining things to Ethan, he introduced Ethan to his new bedtime map. Corey also does vinyl work as a hobby so he used a couple of leftover pieces to cut out shapes for our floor & create a path for Ethan to follow....just like on his map! (Stickers or colored tape would work too!) It's hard to explain in words, so here are a few pictures....
|Here is our collection of Maps to get us to Easter Seals. Ethan will play with these even on days when we don't have class!|
|Here is Ethan's nighttime map. It's very worn because, again, Ethan will play with it during the day. It leads Ethan from his racecar bed, to the bathroom & then to our bedroom to find me. Notice the white stars & the orange circles.|
|Here, Corey laid out a path of white stars from Ethan's room to the bathroom & then orange stickers from the bathroom to our bedroom.|
|A closeup of the sticker paths.|
This nighttime map has been working GREAT! In fact, I don't even think he uses the map anymore....he knows what to do now. But he still likes to play with it during the day.....line his cars up on the paths or practice the routine. I'm not quite ready to remove this visual aid quite yet, but that is more for me....I don't want to find him crying & scared because he can't find me!
He is still getting up in the middle of the night most nights, but we just pull him into our bed....which may be why he is doing it. :0) But, in a weird way, I almost sleep better after he comes in....I know where he is & know he isn't roaming the house. Eventually, we will have to put him back in his bed....I know that will be the next step.....and then maybe he will stop getting up in the middle of the night....who knows. But until I know things are cemented into his mind as to what to do in the middle of the night, I am more concerned about his safety & knowing he is ok....even if that means more cups of coffee during the day.