Getting a child to sleep can be difficult for any parent, but when you have a child on the spectrum, it gets REALLY hard. For my daughter, it's difficult for her to turn her brain off. She can literally be awake all night long, happily playing with her imaginary friends. Oddly enough, she generally can function well the next day. It actually seems that she functions better when she's had less sleep.
While this may be the case, it still drives me up the wall that she doesn't sleep much. Most nights, we give her some melatonin before bedtime. This generally helps her fall asleep more easily, although if she wakes up later in the night, she still has a hard time falling back to sleep. Even with the melatonin, she's still probably up at least 2 nights a week.
I used to stay awake when she was awake. We had kept the baby monitor on, so I would know when she was sleeping or not. The problem was that on those nights that she didn't get much sleep, I didn't get much sleep. Now that she's older and knows she can come in to wake me when she needs help, we finally got rid of the baby monitor. I now sleep much better. If she can't get the bleep to sleep, at least I can!
Selfish? Not really. She does function well the next day. I don't. Plus, I'm the one operating a moving vehicle, so I really do need to get my sleep. I just can't worry about her sleep patterns anymore.
They are what they are.