A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

3-Minute Read


Three more sleeps to go and Tam is back at school. Lots to do. With the biggest thing to achieve is to get Tam back in the routine of getting ready and going to school.

Last night was a bad night until somehow we clicked and Tam slept. It happened about 1am in the morning but it happened. It was a major relief that he actually slept. How did this miracle come about?

I had put Tam to bed with the hope that he would sleep after 3 bad days. That was not happening, he was bouncing around and trying to get out of bed. We tried all of the normal things and in the end I broke down and explained why Daddy was upset. “You have 2 more sleeps and then you go to school, I don’t want you going to school tired and grumpy”. Tam asked me to repeat and then pulled me down onto the bed and turned over asked for “tickles” and fell asleep. I cried in relief that my little boy who has been through so much listened and was on his way to sleep. 5 minutes and he was snoring.

I got out of bed and had a cup of tea and calmed down. Then I slept.

He woke up at 10 am. Rested and in a lovely mood.

Two more sleeps left and back into the routine he likes so much.


Well the second last sleep did not go well. He got really upset about going to sleep and told me over and over again that “scared sleep”. We ended up having a long period of bed and sleep and no bed no sleep. I eventually made a bed on the sofa and turned the lights down. All in an effort to calm him down. I ended up sat on the floor next to him holding his hand as we watched various “making of Marvel’s Endgame” videos. After an hour or so he was asleep. Still holding my hand tightly. It was 5 am and my beautiful boy was asleep and peaceful. I could only hope that he had the sweetest of dreams.

I woke him at 11 am. I knew that I should wake him earlier but did not have the heart to disturb his sleep. I know that the amount he sleep and his physical health are linked. I will just have to see what happens tonight.

One sleep left.

Looking back

After 6 weeks of dealing with all kinds of events and set backs I think the thing that I have learned is that Tam loves the routine of school. At home its a different matter. He likes to be a bit more spontaneous. I think deciding to do something like go shopping is best done with a simple statement and countdown process. Trying to plan things just raises the anxiety in Tam, or it raises it in me and Tam feeds off it. I need to work that part out and make things work better for both of us. We both need to relax more I think.

Of all of the trips that I had planned with Tam I think only the short trips have worked. I know that the York, Edinburgh and Lakes trips have all not worked. A couple of hundred pounds of train tickets not used. I have to just put them down to part of the discovery process of single parenting.

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