Quiet time

Posted on: March 1, 2012

The last time & actually first time we had an appointment with A’s paediatrician, me & A’s Dad described how we spend most of our days occupying A & that distraction was key to having as stress-free day as possible.

It can be so tiring to occupy and distract your child for literally every minute that they are awake, so you can dress them, wash them, make sure they eat something & then spend all day playing on games or trying so hard with sometimes no response to get them to play with you, or take notice of what your doing, so they aren’t pacing the room, climbing onto the windowsills – imagine occupying someone with little or no interests.

The paediatrician suggested ‘Quiet-Time’ and it has been a life-saver.
Not only is it beneficial to myself & A’s Dad but also to A.
For us it means time to ourselves – to sit down for 5 mins or grab a bite to eat without being climbed on or ran around whilst your trying to enjoy a meal. Its a break from having to have eyes in the back of your head, a chance to gather your thoughts & dare I say relax.

And its just as good for A, he goes into his bedroom, & his own space where there are no distractions, no opportunities for sensory overload, somewhere he’s not having to process everything going on around him – a chance for him to relax and be calm.

The amount of time A is in his room does vary, we try to put him in his room usually early afternoon, just on the off-chance he may fall asleep so he isn’t asleep for long for when its bedtime. Sometimes we will put him in there when he has had a meltdown so he can calm down & be in a safe environment – sometimes he lies on his bed – others he will watch his favourite DVD’s – really does depend on his mood.

Sometimes he can be in there for an hour at least & he quite happy, sometimes only 5 mins before he starts banging on the walls or climbing the furniture – which means he isn’t really ready for quiet time – so we may try later.

I never leave him for longer than an hour maximum, providing he’s happy. Then sometimes I will go in and lie with him for a little while – its lovely un-interrupted time together – where I will talk to him or cuddle him – if he let’s me or sometimes we just lie in silence.

Quiet time really has been a brilliant method for us, A comes away from quiet time relaxed and a lot more co-operative, it helps to break up our day and before this the days where long, frustrating & very tiring – it was hard for us to get time to ourselves as A is reluctant to stay with anyone other than us, and the very small minority of family we can leave him with find it very hard to cope with him – because its a full-time job managing occupying him & as parents we know the best methods to keep our children happy & the warning signs of meltdowns, combined with lack of understanding of certain behaviours, its easier for me to have him all the time, plus it saves me being crazy with worry about him. I’m very protective of A and its hard to think of him without me.

If anyone else uses quiet time or has other methods others may be interested please comment below.

L x


7 Responses to "Quiet time"

My K decides for himself when quiet time is. I guess he has come to recognize when he is feeling overwhelmed and will leave the noisy area to one of his favourite quiet places. He has 3. His favourite is the sitting room where there is no TV and a couch just for him. His other spot is the landing of the stairs. He will make sure the hall light is off and “perch” himself there. The last is his bedroom, as he doesn’t go there unless it is close to bedtime or if we have company. It’s not really quiet time for us as he constantly has his musical toy playing, but that soothes him. And I have learned to tune out the music lol

Quiet time is a great idea and we use a similar strategy with some of the boys I work with. We have a Chillax room they can use with bean bags etc, a snug where they can relax with a book, and we use sand trays etc which help to calm them down. In addition one of our boys has a “den” under his desk where he can be when he needs some quiet time. Using these strategies is beneficial for all concerned and means that lesson times are generally more productive and less stressful.

OMG, you are doing really well. If only I could ever get mine to do 10 minutes in his bedroom I’d be happy lol. An hour he would never get to unless he’s dog tired.

My son doesn’t have autism but he has learning difficulties. I continued on from his lunchtime nap so he now has quiet time in his room for approx 1 hour. It helps everyone. He gets to chill and so do we! I make sure he hasn’t got any toys he can chew as that can be dangerous and give him some of his favourite cuddly toys and some books to look but he usually just bounces a bit and giggles and is perfectly happy. Long may it continue!

A Also enjoys quiet time. I usually take him to his room twice a day for no more than half sn hour at a time. If I don’t cone to get him he’s more than happy to stay in there. He sits on his bed and looks through picture books or books with textured pages. Iv organized his shelves in a way were every few days I swap his books around. Sane with his puzzles and cars. That way he dosent see the same items everyday. I find that if every one of his toys are infront of him he gets bored of them and starts to throw them around so I found that this helps. The IPad has been our saviour. We downloaded apps designed for children with Autism. (puzzles, phonics, matching games, numbers etc) and he is very good at them. Iv slowly turned his quiet time into something educational without him realizing but still having him explore on his own.

Another really interesting and enlightening blog – thank you

We have quiet time too…but never called it that – I will now! My 7year old takes himself off to his room for some time to himself each day, which is heavenly! When we have visitors or if everything is getting too much we have taught him to have some ‘time out’ ini his room and he now realises when he needs it and often decides to go there then. He either reads, plays on his DS or the iPad or plays with his toys, he’s very happy and chats away to himself! His room has become a real haven for him..and us!
Great blog!! 🙂

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