How can I help an autistic child that is not mine?

How do you help a 10 year old autistic and mute boy enjoy life more and prepare for growing up? I am a Nanny and I have worked with this amazing family for over 6 months now and the mum is an overwhelmed and exhausted single mother of 3 children including her 10 year old son. I believe alot of the problem is there is no routine or structure and I am only there for 4 hours 3 times a week. I have arranged for occupational and speech therapy and have also organised toys to entertain him (though all suggestions would also be appreciated) as well as secure the yard as he is also a climber. However, the son does not sleep even with melatonin that mum gives him and can be awake most nights till 2 to 4am in morning and then she is up all day with the 6 and 12 year old as well. How can I help more, what else can I do to also help the 10 year old for becoming a teenager please?Any and all insight and suggestions appreciated.


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How can I help an autistic child that is not mine?

Suggest valerian root to mom as a sleep aid. Melatonin is synthetic.

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As much as she may not want to she may have to resort to a sleep medicine from the doctor. I had to with my son. Hes still on it. If the other 2 children can help participate in his routine in ways that will help keep him busy and occupied when they can that will help not only him but the mom as well. My 2 other boys have been a tremendous help but it all cones down to routine and schedule

ADHD and autism can overlap as well, so it’s possible child may have ADHD.


The pediatrician may be able to give him medication to help settle into a routine, sleep, calm down etc. Sounds like she needs to advocate for him and herself a little more.

Well get rid of the melatonin. His body used to make it before that. Horrible “Med”. Ask for risperodol/risperodone. Helps sleep and can curb behaviors during the day depending on when you take it.


Also he probably has Medicaid and they offer respite care. And can also get services lined up. Case managers name and numbers on back of card.

Go to this website, the process is LONG but worth it. This might help with hos sleep. I’m an ausome mom, so I know where your coming from. He might be hypersensitive and would require a lot of deep sensory stimulation. I recommend a climbing wall. Computer chairs come in handy as they spin around. My son LOVES to spin. Does he have a device? My son uses a device to communicate (he is 7 and nonverbal) her son my have a lot to say and doesn’t know how to do so. Start with pictures. I recommend ABA therapy. Some don’t like it because it looks like play. But the services ha e done WONDERS for my son. Is there a unused phone around the house? Download “let me talk” add what you want by snapping pictures and labeling them. Example: picture of mom. Label as mom. Feel free to inbox me. I have LOTS of tricks and tips


Sounds a lot like my child. My kiddo is 9 and on the spectrum. She requires 24/7 substantial supports as she is profoundly impacted by her autism, adhd, and sensory processing disorder. She was once labeled “nonverbal” but with early intervention and the proper supports and services through our developmental area agency (each state, I believe has a developmental disabilities agency that can assist and guide parents raising a child with resources) Sleep here in our house is like infant sleep, she sleeps about 2-3 hours at a time. This is very typical with many autistics who also have adhd but also not with adhd.

I say, thank you!! Thank you for reaching out to see how you can help this family. This life is hard and for a single mother, even harder. I would be there for this mother by offering her a respite night so that she can focus one whole self care day or night just for her. Self care is so important and definitely not something that caregivers get.

See if there are any agencies that can offer respite services and or community outings in an inclusive environment so that this family can have a fun time out together.

Depending on the child, expand on opportunities to foster strong relationships and expand his exposure to be able to do things in his routine that coincide with his special interests

Sometimes, just being an ear to listen, shoulder to cry on, and an ally is SO very appreciated.

It takes a village
Parents of those with different abilities would welcome any support that one cares to give :purple_heart::pray:

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Challenges is their strong point

Stop with the medication already they respond to calm talks and challenges


First. YOU ARE AMAZING! The fact that you are going above and beyond! I love that about you.
And you have gotten plenty of good advice so I just stopped to tell you how wonderful you are!


Call the Medicaid they might be able to help you.
And also talk to his Dr about something to settle him down.
My son his body doesn’t produce melatonin properly so we have to give 5mg fear of anything else reacting with seizure meds.
If he’s a climber nothin you can really do except redirect him everytime they thrive in routine if you’re making that a routine redirecting him soon he will catch on .

Do away with melatonin for starters. I would offer some night time hours so the mom can sleep

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It is very common for kids and even adults with brain issues to not sleep.

In my opinion what would help him is for him to be kept busy and get a lot of exercise.

My daughter had 2 P.E. Classes each day. She helped serve at school during lunch! She would wipe tables!

Then go back to life skills and work on life skills.

She is very verbal. Never stops making noise. She has echolalic speech. Meaning that she will mimic but she truly doesn’t understand the concepts of using words to convey needs and feelings. She is now 28.

She sleeps better at night when she is kept busy throughout the day and not allowed to just sit and exist.

Best wishes. I’m glad he has you to help.

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If he isn’t on Medicaid, his mom to apply. There are programs to help autistic children. Also find a good doctor. There are medications to help with sleep if Melatonin doesn’t help. I read in the comments about possible respite care. That would be helpful for mom to catch up on sleep. Thank you for being proactive in looking for ways to help. Keep it up!

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My 8yr old is Autistic. He j my sleeps like 2-4 hours if we don’t give him medicine. He takes Clonidine and melatonin. Have her talk to the kiddos pediatrician on medication. To help him sleep. A lot of kiddos with Autism don’t naturally produce melatonin so they have a hard time sleeping.


I have a 10 year old who has autism who didn’t sleep but maybe 2 hours melatonin didn’t work he takes clonodine and trazadone to sleep and even then it’s here or there when he sleeps. No amount of exercise or playing tires him out. As for the mute is it that he’s non verbal or just don’t talk. If you can try and create a routine.

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Why do you think he doesn’t enjoy life or won’t be prepared? You’ve been around 6 months and you think you know his life and who he’ll grow up to be? You think you know better after a measly 4 hours a day 3 times a week? Stay in your god damn lane. If your assistance is wanted it’ll be asked for.

My daughter used to work as a Para in a public school one on one with autistic kids. The ones that didn’t communicate she would try sign language or picture speech, It seemed to help them. Try soothing sounds for sleep like ocean waves or a fan or humidifier noise. Dull lights, soft blankets or stuffed animals are comforting as well. You are a good person to try and help.


Sleep study completed by an ENT


She can get him on meds for sleep my two take clondine without it they don’t sleep for days


Melatonin isn’t good to give routinely, your body naturally produces it and having it over produce can be problem. I’m not sure if she has a therapist for the child or not outside eof occupational and speech therapy because those are different from helping him emotionally and getting advice on how to handle or cope with something like that


She should talk to their pediatrician about suggestions too

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1st of all mute isn’t the word you need…it’s non-verbal. Even non-verbal people communicate. His OT and ST should be able to direct you to appliances to help him communicate when the time is right.


I get paid over $ 130 per hour w0rking from home. I never thought l’d be able to do it but my colleague makes over $ 21807 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The possibility with this is limitless.
M0re Info.

See if there is a local Reiki Practitioner that can send distant Reiki to the child that is autistic. It really helps with helping people to relax and rest.

My niece7son is autistic. They give him melatonin and he sleeps better.

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You are amazing! Structure and routine are so important. I would talk to mom about seeing if pediatrician will refer child to a sleep specialist. Our kiddo has insomnia. I also think you may mean nonverbal. If so I would strongly recommend introducing ASL with the combo use of a communication board.

Find out what his strength is, I’m yet to meet an autistic child or adult that isn’t super skilled in a certain activity… Then help encourage him with that.

I’ll never forget how someone explained Autistic kids as it’s so true!! Think of them as cats and those without Autism as dogs. The dogs instinct is to want to play and it will keep pawing at the cat trying to get it to join in… But the more the dog paws at the cat, the more the cat will lash out.

Maybe instead of speech look into an activity group for Autistic kids, one trained to teach him life skills.

Research different schools for autistic children and their needs and give her the list .

Avoid red dyes in foods and drinks!

No advice. But bless your lovely heart and soul for wanting to help

Sleep consultant, behaviour therapy