Aspergerer – Blackout in Queensland

I don’t like to sleep in a completely dark room, for several reasons, and neither does Nemo.

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There were times when I tried to help him feel secure with waking up in a dark room, but with the many other problems we have with even falling asleep, I have long given up on it. It’s no big deal really. We have gotten very low watt night lamps, for both him and me and no one stumbles or gets scared in the dark anymore.

On the day after the tornadoes whipped through regions North of us, we had strong winds here at the coast and on tv they were discussing flood levels. But our lights flickered.

Nemo was in bed, not asleep as usual, so I went to see him to make a blackout emergency plan. I did not want him to freak out and scream the house down. Waking up to his usual “night scares” is bad enough without actual darkness. For both, him and me.

Here is what we did and we will just leave it in place for the future.

On the headboard of his bed, we have a soft toy attached, a musical pullstring thingy we have since he was born. Onto this clown, I hung a strong little LED torch. I told  him to NOT PANIC, but reach for the torch and come and see me, in case I was asleep. We practiced with (not really) closed eyes and giggles.

Literally 5 min later the lights were off (and they would stay off for about 30 hours).

I had gone back to watch the news again, and it took only seconds after everything went out until Nemo shot out of his room and came running to us – clenching his torch.
My husband thought of a battery powered 25 light fairy light thing (they now retail for about $5) from christmas and put it in his room as a nightlight. They use so much less, now, with LED lamps, and will easily go all night, even more. All these gadget cheap torches we picked up left and right? Finally useful.

While darkness is usually an issue even to go to the toilet, we went through the whole blackout situation without any fears or anxiety crisis. I am SO glad this worked.

readerDo you have any measures in place for ‘emergencies’ that could be harder on your child with ASD than for other children?

I certainly will keep this up, and will change some of my own arrangements… Having mostly scented candles to illuminate the house is a bit heavy on the head and a radio without batteries is basically worthless. Happy to say, the blackout only cost me about $ 15 worth of sausages lost from the fridge and a bit of effort to entertain us all without electronic help.

(I know others were not and are not that lucky around us, all the best to them, obviously. )


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