“Annabelle loves being active – running, jumping, climbing, swinging etc. She also loves water, whether it be in a bath or the swimming pool. She is obsessed with Peppa Pig and loves watching it on the TV, listening to the songs and looking at the books. Annabelle dislikes new environments and sudden loud noises. She loves being outdoors in familiar settings.
Annabelle has brain damage from a birth injury. As a result of this, she is severely autistic and non-verbal. She finds it extremely difficult to communicate which can mean she gets frustrated quickly. She does not like new places or environments, which can be difficult for the rest of the family as it means we are restricted where we can visit altogether.
Why we got in touch with Cerebra
Annabelle really struggled to fall asleep and then would wake several times in the night and be extremely active. She would then need to be woken every morning and would be very sleepy and irritable because of poor sleep. It effected everything – her mood, what she would eat, her concentration etc. Annabelle has always had a strict bedtime routine so we wanted advice on what else to try to help improve her sleep.
What happened after we got in touch:
We got in touch with Cerebra’s Sleep Advice Service for some help. After completing the sleep diary, we recieved help over the phone from one of Cerebra’s Sleep Practitioners. We have found in the past that some of the help and advice from charities or specialists can be unrealistic and not achievable in daily life. What we valued the most was that Carwyn really took the time to understand our lifestyle and home set up so he could provide very practical and useful advice, which was tailored to us. It meant that Annabelle’s new routine and bedtime was achievable because he had thought about everything else we have going on. This meant we could really stick to it and implement everything he suggested.
He also recommended a compression sheet for her mattress which we bought. Combined, Annabelle’s sleep immediately improved. The later routine, later bedtime and sheet all meant that she fell asleep quicker and has had more settled nights. We had several phone calls with Carwyn where he could not have been more helpful. He also sent loads of information to us regarding other issues which was greatly appreciated. As well as this, he told me about the Lending Library which we have signed up for and are currently awaiting our first borrowed toy – another fabulous service.
Our family life has been transformed:
The difference Carwyn’s advice has made to Annabelle’s sleep is immeasurable. Before, she was so tired, she was almost like a zombie; she would walk around in her own world and would often be irritable as a result. Since taking all of his advice and implementing what he suggested, Annabelle now sleeps an extra 4 or 5 hours a night. Not only this, the sleep is often not disturbed so her quality of sleep has greatly improved too.
This has had a positive impact on her general mood and wellbeing which has improved everything in her life – from enjoying activities more to eating more.
Carwyn could not have been more helpful. He was amazing at finding out about our life so his advice was actually helpful and meant we could actually implement it, rather than it being too complicated or unachievable in daily family life. He was so calm and lovely. We cannot thank him enough for all of his help – it’s transformed our whole family life! Thank you!”