B was almost 3 at the time that her Mum commenced Sleeptalk ® with her. B has a new baby sister, E two months old. Mum says that B is a confident, interested and energetic child. B is a “strong-willed” child, who likes to do “her own thing”. However, B doesn’t always listen to or follow Mum’s directions, or cooperate with Mum, eg holding hands when in the carpark for safety, which concerned Mum. To get Mum’s attention, B often pushes other children at crèche, pokes her sister or pulls on her arm (daily) or will cry. Mum noted a there was a bit of sibling rivalry going on. B will hit her head on the floor or walls at times, throwing tantrums. When things don’t go right or when she wants her own way, Mum says that B overacts.
B speech had been assessed and found to be 6 months behind her age appropriate development (ie limited vocabulary, enunciation concerns, not speaking clearly enough to be understood, etc). As a result she visits a Speech Therapist regularly. B responds well to routine, eg bed-time which has a pre-warning beforehand and a bed-time story which works well Mum says. Although B sleeps through the night, she usually takes sometime to settle initially. B reacts strongly towards specific things and will cry straight away. For instance, at the sight of the vacuum cleaner she will immediately start crying and run to her room or when shown Tigger (the toy tiger) which when wound up will bounce and jump around. B likes and wants order Mum says, eg the doll has to have her hat off. Although previously toilet trained, B had fissures now, so was reluctant to do ‘poos’ (often holding on for some days before going), or go to the toilet to do ‘poos’ due to the pain involved. While Mum has sought medical advice and treatment, she says that B goes and puts on a ‘pull-up’ herself to do ‘poos’ in, rather than going in the toilet.
While Mum said that she would commit to this process, she nevertheless said on parting that “We’ll see if it works”, which l found interesting.
SleepTalk ® Foundation Process commenced.
Spoke with Mum a couple of days after our first meeting and she said that she felt confident giving the SleepTalk ® process. Sent sms after two weeks; all going well Mum reported.
Four weeks into the SleepTalk ® process, spoke with Mum on the phone to arrange our next meeting. Mum said that she had been able to do SleepTalk ® each night, only missing a couple of nights. Mum said that B was more calm and cooperative now, even stopping, looking and listening to Mum at times which didn’t happen before. B had even begun to hold Mum’s hand in the carpark, which Mum was very pleased about.
Second meeting with Mum
A number of substantial improvements in B’s development and behaviour were recognised and noted during this meeting; most with an increase of 10-15%. In reflection and comparison, Mum was able to identify that B had become calmer, more cooperative and focused, and her speech had improved. This was also noted by the Speech Therapist, two weeks earlier (who is interested in finding out more about SleepTalk ®). Mum said that now B was more focused in her play and activities, instead of having ‘excess’ energy as previously, eg not swinging from the curtains as much. B was now more placid, more affectionate, giving more cuddles, especially in the mornings. B was more sharing and caring of her baby sister, saying ‘gentle’ when touching the baby which was welcomed by Mum. Her speech had improved greatly, with B saying new words, more sentences, making more sense in her communication, reciting songs and speaking more clearly. Whereas previously B refused to even try any new foods at all, she was now more willing to even put these foods to her lips and taste them. Increased interest in sharing books with her Mum and letting her Mum read to her and talking with her about books through the day had occurred.
B was playing, sharing and dealing with other kids at crèche better, with less aggression – not snatching toys from them or hitting them as much. B was communication with other children had improved and was verbalizing more. Her concentration on one activity was lasting a lot longer, being more attentive and focused. While her imagination and creativity had become greater, making up games with play dough, wearing objects as ‘crowns’, making up songs.
B’s behaviour at home and in public had become less demonstrative, by compiling with and following Mum’s directions more (eg holding hands in the carpark, packing up toys when asked), with the head banging/throwing tantrums occurring only occasionally. Mum believed as she had put more boundaries in place and B was listening more, she could reason with B and explain consequences to her. Because of this, B was following through more positively rather than reacting negatively by screaming, throwing tantrums, etc. B was not being sent to her room as much for time out. Rather than becoming frustrated quickly with things, B had become calmer with everyday activities, such as tying shoe laces, or when a puzzle piece was missing or didn’t fit.
Mum believed that B’s level of anxiety had reduced (eg trying to eat more things, more willing to do things, calmer, etc); she could even touch the vacuum cleaner now after it was turned off. However she still reacted by yelling “NO” when Tigger appeared. Greater self-help skills by B were recognised by Mum, with B washing her hands after toileting and when appropriate, packing up toys and putting away, cooperating more with less resistance and fighting. While B still wanted to wear pull-ups for ‘poos’, she had started to go to the toilet by herself without being taken by her Mum. Although Dad is not taking part in the nightly SleepTalk ® process, he can see a difference in B’s behaviour Mum said.
Choosing the Primary Area of Need
In determining B’s Primary Area of Need, two priorities were selected by Mum: toileting and speech. Mum is very concerned and anxious, wanting to do all she can to help with B’s speech development, which had improved the Speech Therapist had told her. However, of the two areas, Mum wanted B to be able to go to the toilet to do ‘poos’, without holding on or thinking that it would still be painful. Mum felt that her daughter was becoming constipated regularly because of this which also worried Mum. A specific statement “You can do ‘poos’ in the toilet easily – its OK”, was agreed upon and a follow up appointment made for 6 weeks’ time.