I was googling in desperation for someone to talk to about ds's sleep problems. He is having more bad nights than good now and can be coming into our room scared 4 or 5 times in the night.
The GP referred us to a Healthy Minds programme that has a huge waiting list and the Parent Support Advisor wanted to send me on a Positive Parenting Course. I just wanted advice NOW! Like we all do really.
I called this organisation called Young Minds, not knowing anything about it other than that they had a confidential helpline. They have been FANTASTIC. The woman who answered the phone obviously knew a lot about children with emotional problems and made a link between the safety of routine for ds and the holidays and weekends where there is less structure and when the nightmares increase. She said that someone who specialised in young children and sleep issues would give me a 50 minute phone call some time this week.
Well that phone call just happened and the woman was lovely. She went back through a lot of issues surrounding my pregnancy and ds's early start that I hadn't considered, gave me tips on dealing with him during the night, talked about possible reasons and solutions and recommended a book called The Incredible Years by Carolyn Webster-Stratton that I'm about to order from Amazon. She too stressed the important of routine and structure for young children and has told me to go back to the GP to pursue the matter further as ds's nightmares and issues surrounding sleep have been ongoing so he needs strategies to deal with these things on his own.
She was incredible to talk to and I am so very grateful to them for finally giving me the time and information I needed to at least formulate a plan of action. I said I would recommend the service to everyone I spoke to, so if you are having issues and need fast help and advice, I highly recommend them.
Thanks Rhubarb, I have used them in the past and they are really really good. I would certainly endorse what you say- they are really supportive even if they can't help dircetly they can offer lots of advice and reassurance.
Plenty of advice and some really good points to think about from a specialist who freely gives you 50 minutes of their time. Obviously they can't go very deep during those 50 minutes but they can advise you on where to go for help and what you can do in the meantime which is really really important.
Many of these NHS resources have a huge waiting list but that doesn't help the here and now and when you have a child who is suffering, it affects the whole family and you just need the tools to try and cope as best you can whilst you wait for the referral to come through. These are the people to give you those coping strategies or as LizzieMo says, some reassurance.