“My autistic son hurts me and himself with sleepless nights caused by frustration”

Kristian Jones, 12, has trouble sleeping and mother Gemma Jones is watching her son grow from a boy who was “happy and smiling” to someone who will hurt them both at night

Gemma Jones with her youngest child, Kristian Jones, who has autism
Gemma Jones with her youngest child, Kristian Jones, who has autism

A boy with autism hurts his mother and himself through sleepless nights out of frustration.

Kristian, a 12-year-old, has trouble sleeping and mother Gemma Jones is watching her son grow from a “happy and smiling” boy to someone who hurts them both at night.

Those who have an autism spectrum disorder may have trouble sleeping.

It can lead to daytime sleepiness, learning problems, and behavioral problems such as aggression and hyperactivity.

The sleep problems affect other family members but also other family members and he keeps waking up during the night.

Gemma is hoping to raise money for a special bed which cannot be funded by the NHS, hoping to provide Kristian with a safe place.

Kristian Jones, 12, has autism, which has led to trouble sleeping


Gemma Jones)

Mom Gemma Jones with her youngest child Kristian


Gemma Jones)

she said Wales Online : “Kristian was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old.

“He can’t fall asleep unless I’m lying next to him, otherwise he’d be pacing around the house causing damage or chaos.

“Sometimes he has bad days where he doesn’t go to sleep until 5am and I’m left black and blue — he doesn’t realize he’s venting his frustration.”

She added: “It can happen seven days a week sometimes. He only stays with his father on the weekends so I can sleep more than two hours and spend time with the other kids.

“It can be especially challenging when he doesn’t go to sleep until 5 or 6am and I have to wake him up at 8am to go to school – he’s exhausted.

“The summer holidays are the hardest time because you’re obviously with him day and night.

“While he’s off vacation and school and doesn’t sleep at all at night, I know I can get a few hours of sleep during the day.

“I don’t have that option during the summer holidays – when he’s up, he’s up.

“It’s going to be tough and I’m so tired. When you’re tired, you’re prone to things like colds and cold sores.

Kristian’s autism can lead to daytime sleepiness, learning problems, and behavior problems


Gemma Jones)

People with autism spectrum disorder like Kristian can have trouble sleeping


Gemma Jones)

“I’m constantly at the doctor’s and getting lotion because I often come out with cold sores when I’m tired or stressed.

“But you’re also stressed for him — you can see his body wants to sleep, but his body is still active. He’s frustrated and you can understand why he’s frustrated and lashing out at not being able to switch off – it’s heartbreaking. “

Since Kristian was recently diagnosed with epilepsy, lack of sleep can also lead to more seizures. A special bed would therefore not only promote a safe sleep, but also a safe place for him in particularly difficult times.

Gemma said: “The special bed would contain sensory objects and a camera. For example, if Kristian has a seizure in this bed, I can see through the video.

“It’s not safe to leave him alone in his room. So this bed would make it a safer environment for him – it will calm him down.

“I could be in the next room — I could go to bed, read a book or something while he’s calming down, feeling safe and not scared because he’s trying to go to sleep.

“It would also be life-changing for the family. The other two are older, it would be nice to be there for them too, to help them with school and other things.

“It would be nice to do whatever I have to do and know he’s safe too. It will be life changing for him and for us as a family.”

With the help of her friends and family, Gemma hopes so Fundraising for a £5,000 special bed for her son, with a walk to the Pen-y-Fan set to take place in early June.

The mother-of-three said the response to the fundraiser has been “heartwarming” so far.

She said: “A lot of my friends and family are fundraising and we have a lot of people coming together as a community.

“A special bed costs over £5,000 – hopefully we’ll have the money and the bed built up by the summer holidays because it’s crucial.

He’s a happy and smiling little boy, but obviously like everyone else, he gets grumpy when he gets tired. This will change his life.

“When you have a child with a disability you feel alone, especially at 3 or 4 in the morning you feel alone.

“Like most people, I don’t like asking for help and feel like I should be able to do it on my own.

“But the fact that they all get together without my asking is so heartwarming.

“I never thought anyone would bother to do this. They have a lot to do with Covid and their own families.

“I want to thank everyone for the kindness they’ve shown.”

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