Explain "sleep problems"

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Asperger Adult Resources : One Thread

My step-son has not been diagnosed with Asperger's. We start counciling later this month. I am certain he has Asperger's. He has many of the characteristics. My question concerns his sleep problem. He falls asleep while driving or riding in a car. We try to protect him as much as possible. Thank God he realizes that driving is a problem for him and he pulls over frequently. A 90 min. trip takes him 3 hours because he has to pull over so many times. He also falls asleep if he just sits still for a short period of time, not all the time but often. But the car is like a sleeping pill to him. Please let me know if this could be related to the Asperger's. Thank You, Mary Eckert

-- Mary Eckert (gmeckert@powersupply.net), October 05, 1999


Mary: I have never heard of any connection being made between Asperger Syndrome and the type of symptoms you describe. That is not to say that there isn't one, just that I have never heard any such connection. If your son is taking any medications, obviously you should inquire whether those medications may contribute to the symptoms. Keep in mind that a person with Asperger Syndrome may have the full gamut of other medical problems that any individual might have. I would be concerned that there is another medical problem present that should be addressed, and that, of course, means that a doctor should be consulted. Lastly, perhaps the car should be checked for carbon monoxide leaks. I wish I could be more helpful. Maureen

-- Maureen E. Garde (coordinator@aspergers.org), October 06, 1999.

Hi, I havethree sons, two sons diagnosed with Asperger's , one as normal as any 24 year old can be :-) Well my middle son (age 22)has the problem of falling asleep while driving or riding in a vehicle and my youngest has chosen not to get his licence because he falls asleep in the car just riding the 20 miles to his older brothers. This happens in all of our vehicles as well as my son's pickup to, so i do not believe it has to do with carbon monoxide. My younger brother also has Aspergers and has even fallen asleep driving his motorcycle. (Doesn't have a motorcycle any more) I have never related this to Asperger's until I read your letter. Thanks

-- Laura Schmidt (schmidtm@3-cities.com), October 25, 1999.

If you didn't get the other email. My response is this young man may have narcolepsy.

-- Carol Stuckey (cas@msn.com), January 01, 2000.

Yeah, I'm voting for narcolepsy too, I've got AS and I can't sleep in a car, on a bus, on a plane, etc. I've been on flights to Europe and not slept! The best I can do is put myself in a state very close to sleep, which seems to have some of the benefits. And, it's long plane flights that really taught me the fun of designing stuff visually in my mind, hehe my AutoCAD needs no batteries! But, I don't advise doing that when you're driving (or flying the plane!).

-- Alex Carter (carter@goodnet.com), February 20, 2000.

I think it is an ADHD problem, closely related to narcolepsy. It is like I need a lot of things happeening to keep myself awake, AKA hyperactivety, when I get relaxed I fall asleep, well, not now anymore when i started with "ritalina" It is like amfetamine, It keeps my brain awake and I dont have to trigger this thing myself all the time, so I can be more relaxed and not this hyperactive state.

-- take knol (take@linux.nu), March 24, 2000.

I'm an adult (27), who probably has either Asperger's or ADD or both (the jury is still out).

I have a problem with falling asleep in the middle of things, too, except it's not like sleep as much as this state of semiconsciousness. It doesn't feel the same as normal sleep, and it's not restful. It's just an automatic "shut-off" that happens when I've been too overloaded. It usually happens after I've been subjected to a loud/noisy/chaotic environment for too long, I just totally "go numb". It's like drunkenness.

This specific problem hasn't given me trouble driving.

"Shutting off" as I understand it is something that some Aspergian people do when we get overstimulated. But, it also happens to ADD people, too. I'll leave it to the specialists to decide which I am since so much of the outward symptomology seems the same.

-- A. F. Wilson (qwertycatmeows@aol.com), April 24, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ