I built Visual Sleep Timer for use with my three daughters, ages 5, 6, and 8, two of which have been diagnosed with ASD. For months, my wife and I struggled with one or more of them getting out of bed before they should.
Our eldest thought that if she woke up and could see light coming in through the curtains, it was okay to get up. Sometimes that light was coming from the neighbor’s house, other times it was sunlight from the 6:00am sunrise. Regardless of the light source, it was usually too early to get up.
When she would get up, she’d either turn on the TV and watch her favorite shows on Netflix, waking up her parents, or turn on her bedroom light, waking up her sisters since they share the room. Oftentimes, her sisters would join her instead of trying to go back to sleep. Later in the day, one or more of our daughters would complain that she was tired and that she got up too early because one of her sisters woke her up.
We tried various methods (charts, rewards, extra privileges, etc.) to get them to stay in bed, but none of them worked for very long. We also looked for an app in the App Store, but couldn’t find anything that met our needs.
That is when I decided to make our own app for iPad. Although we went through several versions of Visual Sleep Timer before we decided on releasing the version we did, our daughters love the app and look forward to staying in bed each night.
While this has not been a cure all, one or more will occasionally still get out of bed early, there has been significant improvement in our daughters staying in bed until they can get up.
To learn more about Visual Sleep Timer, click here!