I need some serious help : Parenting

Good morning everyone, I am in need of some serious, desperate help. I have two children, 4 and 2, with autism. They struggle in every day life with simple things, but the one thing they’ve never ever struggled with is sleep. That is honestly the one thing I have always been super proud of. Especially my youngest, he has been a crib sleeper from the getgo- went right in his crib awake and went to sleep on his own, slept through the night, he has ALWAYS been an amazing sleeper.

He just turned two in November. I don’t know what in the demon hell happened, but he is not my child anymore. He started escaping his crib 5,6,7 times a night, shrieking every single night. It started off by him slowly whimpering and crying to full blown hysteria in the middle of the night. I basically put his crib mattress to the lowest setting and somehow he still escaped his crib. It was starting to became a safety issue because I would hear a constant “thud” from him hopping his crib so we converted his crib to a toddler bed. My oldest was converted to a toddler bed at 14 months old and LOVED it. Has never had a single issue ever since.

My two year old is completely different. I feel like I want to throw him out the window. For THREE AND A HALF FREAKING WEEKS, he has gone down to sleep in his toddler bed with a fight but still sleeps. He wakes up crying after an hour or two and will literally spend 5-6 hours screaming his head off. He needs someone in the room with him while he sleeps we’ve figured out. If we are sitting on the floor next to his bed, he will happily go to bed, but the second we try to sneak away, it’s like we’ve ripped his arm off. He’s not hot, has a clean diaper, he’s had water, isn’t hungry, he’s just being a little butthole. My husband and I both have to wake up early and we’re both starting to resent our child to be honest. It’s taking a toll on our mental health because the last three weeks we’ve gotten next to no sleep. He has 3 night lights in his room, a sound machine, we’ve tried no sound machine, he has stuffed animals, he has a fan on which he likes. I don’t know what else to do. He was sleep trained as a child, we did CIO and it worked. We also did CIO with my oldest. I’ve tried doing CIO this time around but he will literally cry and scream for I’m not kidding- HOURS. He’s relentless. He will throw himself at the door, he will not get tired. His doctor recommended melatonin but I don’t want to have to depend on melatonin and even melatonin only lasts an HOUR.

By acknowledging small improvements in behaviour you make it easier for big improvements to follow.

PLEASE HELP ME. WHAT DO I DO. This has been weeks now. I’m about to lose my freaking mind and seriously last night when he woke up I cried. Do I do full on extinction at this point and just not go in his room until morning? It’s like when we go in to comfort him, it’s worse when we leave because he notices and freaks out even worse. I seriously cannot handle this anymore. It’s been almost a month. I cannot even press the night and day change, he was my best sleeper and now he doesn’t take naps, doesn’t want to sleep in his toddler bed, and doesn’t want to sleep at all.