While Children Sleep--    MORE Stories

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Ella is now twelve but she functions below the level of a three year-old in terms of toilet-training and personal care. She can communicate to a limited extent but has no effective speech.  Although she is very gentle, especially with babies, she had a lot of fears in the past that were probably tied to her very much delayed motor function.

Her mother has struggled to cope with these problems, but recently, Ella began to move more that usual, going round and round whatever room or area she happened to be in, exhausting not only her nanny but everybody else who was just looking. She also screamed at the most unexpected moments, a habit that made her mother hesitate to take her to public places.

When they came into the office, I suggested a script to try to get her to calm down.

Today, her mom came in with her younger sibling and gave me a feedback.  Ella stopped her constant walking and the screaming after only three sessions!

Now we have to work on her aversion to leaving her room.  This is a new development that we have to try to explain to her while she is asleep.

Born to teen-aged parents and cared for by supportive maternal grandparents, Joshua was three months old when I first saw him.  He was a cheerful baby but had crying episodes which would occur at night.  He would scream and sob, and when he was not doing this, he would snore like an overweight adult.  He didn't have a cold at the time, and the grandmother thought that he may have secretions left over from when he was born. I told her that was not possible.

I reassured them about the sound after I examined Joshua.  His pharynx was not inflammed but I gave a decongestant and told the adults to observe him for a few days, noting the position he was in when the loud snoring occurred.

Because of the crying and the circumstances of his birth (his father and mother were actually still together but lived with their own parents) I thought it would not do any harm if I had his mom explain things to him, including how she felt during her pregnancy, when she had to tell her parents and cope with her own feelings.  His grandmother promised to do some sleep-talking also.  They were to reassure him of their love.

A month later, I saw this remarkable happy baby because he had a low-grade fever.  It seemed he had a viral infection for which they were instructed to give paracetamol.

Then, without being asked, the grandmother volunteered that Josh no longer cried in his sleep. Despite their having used the decongestant only for two days, he also no longer snored. I attributed that last one to his having grown and stretched his pharynx. 
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