(BomS) IN A TODDLER WITH TRAUMA
Sleep problems occur in 20% to 30% of toddlers aged 3-5 years include; bedtime refusal; multiple ‘exits’ from the bedroom; and/or calling out resulting in delayed sleep onset. Often these are accompanied by numerous overnight wakings.
- As these problems are behaviourally based, behavioural sleep interventions are effective.
- Behaviour change is particularly effective if parents follow the principles of authoritative parenting which encourage and support the development of children’s responsibility to learn positive behaviour (1).
- The Boss of my Sleep Book (BomS) works on those principles, by accessing the intrinsic motivation of young children to want to behave well, be in ‘control’ of their own behaviour and be part of the decision making without fear of repercussions.
- However, most existing interventions such as this require personal contact with a trained professional, and unfortunately many children remain untreated.
- In order to resolve this problem an online version of the successful clinic based Boss of My Sleep Book http://snoozeforkids.com/ was created.
- Whether the BomS book is effective online without guidance from a trained professional and whether it is effective in children with excessive fear/anxiety are currently unknown.
Case study of LL
LL was a 3 year old male living with his foster mother since he was 20 months of age, after having been twice withdrawn from his birth mother due to neglect and abuse. At that time, he displayed signs of trauma, had behavioural problems and was slightly delayed in reaching developmental milestones although this had never been formally diagnosed.
- He had never had guidance to follow rules, had no bedtime routine and had behavioural problems both during the day and at night.
- When he entered foster care, he continued to show signs of trauma, fear and anxiety and had difficulty following rules. Separating from his foster mother was difficult, especially at night and he was never able to sleep alone.
- For the purposes of the Child Protection Agencies, LL’s foster mother had kept detailed records of his sleep and behaviour, on which the current case study has been based.
- LL’s foster mother downloaded the pdf Boss of My Sleep Book from the host website , dedicated to toddler sleep (www.snoozeforkids.com.au) in August 2015 and subsequently posted positive feedback onto the website.
- In the same month, the author contacted her to ask permission to anonymously use LL’s case to demonstrate the effectiveness of the online version of the Boss of My Sleep Book. Consent was subsequently gained in accordance with ethical requirements of the Australian Psychological Society. LL’s mother then completed a post sleep diary on August 30th 2015 and provided family history and demographic data.