Daylight Savings Time and Children with Special Needs

It’s that time again.

No pun intended.

Spring forward. Daylight Savings Time. Or, as we like to call it here in my house, twice yearly crazy time.

Changing the time is a big deal around here.

Really big.

It seems like such a simple thing – it’s only an hour. I have been asked more times than I can count, “What if you just let him sleep an hour later? Should be fine right?


The time change is a difficult transition for children with special needs. For reals. - Not The Former Things


I wish it was that simple. We would just adjust our sleep schedule to an hour later each March, and then back in November and move on.

But the time change for my son is much more than just sleep.

It’s the way the entire day progresses.

When we eat. When my husband leaves for work. When he comes home. When our therapies are scheduled.

All of these things necessarily adjust with the time change.

And my son, no matter what time he goes to sleep or wakes, notices.

Because the rhythms of the day look different (literally with the amount of light in the house, and figuratively with the schedules accommodating the change), my son’s anxiety increases. With that, he starts to sleep even less, eat even less, cope even less.


I have learned it lasts about ten days.

Then, he seems to relax into the newness and move on.

So ten days.

We have ten days ahead of us, starting tonight.

I wish I could say something helpful.

I wish I could call this piece, “5 Ways to Help Your Child With The Time Change”.

But I got nothin’.

Except for ten days.

And this…

You are not alone.

Your child is not the only one.

You are not the only parent dreading and coping with the fall-out of daylight savings time.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not the worst thing we will deal with as parents of unique kids.

I can shake my fist.

I can rage against the clock.

I can post things like this on Facebook.

Untitled design (19)


And, at the end of the day, I will turn my clocks forward an hour, and do the best I can for my child.

So will you.

And it will be just fine.

So here’s to you, parent in the same boat – may the next ten days bring plenty of sweet moments, the hope of a quick nap here and there, and lots of coffee.

5 thoughts on “Daylight Savings Time and Children with Special Needs

  1. here in Sydney Australia, ours change on the 3rd of April……. agh why oh why
    Hope the 10 days pass quickly for you

  2. It’s funny but the change does not seem to bother DC until a few days later (which means I will be in the weeds at any moment now). Me? You would think someone made me stay awake for 24 hours, but it doesn’t phase him at all the first day or so. Once it hits, he will also begin getting nervous about a storm coming because it is a little bit darker in the AM. That always makes for such joyful mornings.

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