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How a sleep deprived baby got diagnosed with Aspergers!

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
How a sleep deprived baby got diagnosed with Aspergers!
Just over a year ago I went to help a little 11 month old baby boy learn to love his cot and sleep much better. He'd been waking heaps at night and was very difficult to settle. As soon as I'd arrived he greeted me with the loudest and most unsettling tantrum. I remember saying 'Holy moly, what is that?' In my job as a baby whisperer I see many tantrums but this one stopped me in my tracks. Mum was trying to feed him without any success, food was getting flung everywhere. I'm sure you can get the picture. We abandoned his evening meal, got him in the bath for a very quick dip in and out and straight to bed by 6pm.

Mum and dad told me that tantrums were a regular fixture and they were very concerned about his behaviour. He'd recently stopped talking as well. Food and mealtimes were a nightmare. They'd taken him to see a paediatrician as they really were at their wits end. The paediatrician who is a specialist in Autism Spectrum Disorders had diagnosed him with Aspergers. At 11 months a diagnosis of Aspergers!!! I kid you not. I was shocked. Both parents are scientists and we know a lot of scientists and IT people tend to have some autistic traits. However, 11 months is way too young to be diagnosed.

We decided that the dummy had to go as maybe that was causing the frequent night waking. Mum had been to sleep school a month previously. She'd waited 3 months to get a place and had to basically say she was suicidal to get a place. By night 4 she couldn't cope and left in a taxi. It had been a long difficult road and had really taken its toll on herself and her marriage.

So we set to the sleep training. We used a very kind technique called Parental Presence that I've developed over 20 years. We took his dummy away and sat with him in his bedroom. By the middle of the night we could see a breakthrough. He slept until 7am and we had to wake him for breakfast!

What I saw that morning astounded me. He sat in his highchair, ate a heap of breakfast and was so happy. It was like we had a completely different child in this home.

I left and rang the parents over the next few days. By the weekend he was chatting away again. Mum felt hope for the first time in ages. Her husband said that if this only lasted 2 days he didn't care. He was so grateful to have his happy wife back again.

He continued to sleep well and all through the night. The dummy was only used when desperate and they'd stopped using it as a regular fixture.

I recently received an email from mum asking me a couple of little questions. He is potty trained at 2 years old and talking in sentences. I asked what had happened with his development and the Aspergers diagnosis? The paediatrician had discharged him 8 months ago. No Aspergers. How huge is that? It blows me away how lack of sleep can lead to diagnoses of Aspergers and I hear a lot about kids being hyperactive and parents suspect ADHD. I'm of the opinion that most of this is sleep deficiency. Within a few days of sleep training, most parents report calm and Zen babies and children. I love my job I really do. The gift of sleep gave this family hope and a normal child.

Mum signed her email off with, 'forever indebted to you Karen'. That's why I do what I do. I love giving families hope. Lack of sleep can look like a multitude of things and yet most sleep problems are behavioural in origin and very very fixable.

You too can access my 3 decades of experience as a registered midwife and child and family health nurse via the Nurture Sleep Program. You can take your baby from sleepless to slumber in up to 7 easy lessons across 3 age groups once you join.

? FOODS that promote baby sleep
ROUTINE: easy, flexible, sleep-ready
? ENVIRONMENT: getting it right
?? DEVELOPMENT: changes, how these affect sleep
? SLEEP METHODS: secret tips that will change your life

It will stop the guesswork and give you:
A tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep)
Evidence-based
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Holistic assessment
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Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos
Prevention for under 4 months so no need to do sleep training ever
And all at a low $97 for a very limited time


 

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