Kaileigh, who is one of our Sleep Practitioners recently helped Deborah and her daughter Olivia who was experiencing anxiety at night time. Kaileigh tells their story.
“I’m a Cerebra Sleep Practitioner and it’s my job to help children who struggle to get the rest they desperately need. Lack of sleep has a huge impact on the whole family. For children, it’s incredibly distressing and for parents, it makes the everyday challenges they face all the more difficult.
The advice we give and the sleep workshops we run make such a difference to the lives of children with brain conditions and their families.
In August last year, mum, Deborah contacted me because Olivia was so anxious at night time and wouldn’t settle down. Olivia has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and sadly, her levels of anxiety became worse following a family trauma a few years ago. “Olivia was so anxious. It was heartbreaking to see her so distressed each night. I didn’t know where to turn at first but I’m so glad to have found out about Cerebra and their wonderful sleep service.”
After a consultation with Deborah, I was able to find out more about Olivia and recommended some techniques and because of Olivia’s condition, I also sent our Anxiety Guide. Things soon began to improve, but following an incident at school, Olivia’s anxiety increased and sadly, we were back to square one.
Olivia now wouldn’t settle until 4am. It was incredibly distressing and exhausting for her and the whole family. Little did I know at this point that on top of this, Deborah was also going through another hugely stressful ordeal.
I carried on working with Olivia and Deborah and implemented a technique called phased advancement, which involved preparing and settling for bed later. We also created a calmer environment before bedtime with low, red lighting and I’m so pleased to say, Olivia is now far less anxious and able to settle down to sleep much earlier.
Whilst working with the family, I found out Deborah was very upset by a decision not allowing her to receive a Disability Living Allowance benefit. I was able to liaise with our Legal Entitlements team to give Deborah some advice and I also asked her to include our correspondence throughout the sleep programme in her appeal.
Deborah recently contacted me to say her appeal had been successful and was overjoyed to receive a backdated sum. The judge was also in disbelief that the family had been refused previously. I was so pleased to have been able to help. It’s moments like this that really make me proud to work for Cerebra and the wonderful families that need our help”.