My 9 year old son has always had a bedtime routine and has never had a problem falling asleep. However, during 3rd grade he began stuttering routinely and also began having problems falling asleep.
We did find out that he was being bullied by another boy (who happened to stutter). His teacher did nothing to help with the bullying until I threatened to go to the principal (after 3 complaints). She also told him to save his tears for something really important. His teacher would reprimand my son if he raised his hand to ask a question when she was working with another reading group.
My son was in an advanced reading group which met once a week while two other groups met every single day. He was expected to "figure it out" instead of asking her a question about the work she required to be done by the next time they met. It was after he told me she hated him that I really noticed a change in his sleep patterns.
The stuttering began about three months after the start of school and by the third nine-week period he was no longer able to fall asleep per his usual schedule. Despite the change in his sleep pattern, my son was able to excel both academically and on standardized testing for which he was identified as AIG.
He is still stuttering, though we have been working on this ourselves as he has requested that I not take him to a doctor. I haven't been as concerned about the sleep pattern as I am a stay-at-home mom and it's summer break.
School starts in three weeks and I don't know what to do about getting him into a better sleep pattern. Often, 5 nights a week at least, I will find him awake at 1:00 a.m. He will then sleep until 11:30 or later in the morning. I recognize that he still needs a certain amount of sleep. What can I do to get him back on the pattern he had before the bully and the bad teacher? I've heard about melatonin but am unsure as to whether I want to start giving my son a pill - even if it is safe. Has anyone had success with that?
I normally try to have him in bed with lights out at 9:00. He is allowed to play quietly and/or read until then. All screen time ends at or before 8:00 p.m. I just don't know what else to do to get him to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would also be grateful for any recommendations regarding the stuttering.