Good Morning Mark & Sleepy,
I see you have both been on the night owls thread, I am sorry you are not sleeping so well. I often have that trouble too, and end up doing housework like washing in the middle of the night. What really destroys my sleep is when my son is having troubles, so I feel for you at the moment mark. Sleeping in the day is not possible for me, so if I fail I have to live in a trance until the next night. I hope you both sleep better tonight, it is really exhausting.
Mark, yes it can be completely impossible to get any time to yourself. My son has lots of busy things that he does, but he always wants me next to him involved in some way. He talks constantly all day, so that it can just be hard to have my own thoughts. His key interest in life is electronics, circuits, disassembling any sort of appliances, fixing old computers etc. I try to take an interest, but there are limits to my interest and he can talk about a battery or a graphics card for an hour at a time, so it can be a mighty relief when he decides to watch a youtube video and stops talking for a bit!
Blake has little ability to self regulate, so I must help him to regulate. Although he talks continuously he cannot communicate distress or frustration verbally, so I am always watching for small signs of frustration like jiggling or squirming and tapping. If he gets hot or physically uncomfortable he gets angry (he also has synaesthesia) Sometimes he just explodes without much warning. The results of his explosions can be serious, for example he flipped when his laptop went flat when he was using it the other day and deliberately lit a fire in the house by puncturing a lithium battery. I am used to this kind of thing, and I keep fire blankets and extinguishers close by.
Looking after special needs kids is exhausting in a way that others just don't understand though. I do think he is gradually getting less demanding though (he is 12 now, but functional age approx 6 according to psych). The thing that would make the biggest difference to me though, would be if he was stable at school, as he is sent home constantly and the last three years he has been excluded from school for 3 month periods at a time each year.
Mark, Riding a motorbike must be a real release. My Dad was into bikes and when we were very small he had an old BSA with a sidecar that we would ride in, it was great.