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extreme night terrors a sign of a broader problem?

(15 Posts)
kalidasa Sat 05-Dec-15 19:59:45

DS1(just three) has v extreme night terrors (definitely not nightmares). They are just like the standard descriptions (appears awake but screaming, in fact deeply asleep, nothing helps other than to wait for it to end) but they happen very often, and on a bad night every 90 minutes all night, not just once at the beginning. I have a few other concerns about him and I'm wondering if anyone has any idea whether this is known to be a sign of other problems and if so what? I hope it's ok to ask here. I tried posting on sleep a few weeks ago buy had no responses.

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 05-Dec-15 20:10:04

Not for us, and in and of themselves, no. Not aware of any conditions where night terrors would be more likely (dd2 had night terrors and cerebral palsy. The two were not linked. Just lucky I guess - although we did have to consider whether the night terrors were muscle spasms etc. they weren't. Just night terrors.)
But if you have other concerns, it is of course perfectly possible to have night terrors as well as ASD, ADD, CP etc.

Like dd. As well as having night terrors, she has a squint. A squint is a squint is a squint. Both NT and disabled children can have them. In NT kids, it is a regular squint. In her case, it's because she has underlying muscle tone issues and neuro problems. But the most likely explanation is still 'just a squint' for the majority of the population. And she very obviously had the other issues - the squint was very much secondary.

You are better off asking about the other issues, tbh.

kalidasa Sat 05-Dec-15 20:21:26

Thanks madwoman. You're right. The other concerns I have just feel so nebulous! I am constantly second guessing myself. And doesn't help that we are so exhausted all the time because neither he nor DS2 (10 months) sleep through the night.

GloriaHotcakes Sat 05-Dec-15 20:23:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kalidasa Sat 05-Dec-15 20:27:21

Thank you gloria. Did you find anything that helped to prevent them? How old was your DS when they started to ease off? I gather they are more common in boys.

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 05-Dec-15 20:34:04

dd2's lasted about 6 months, and then she outgrew them. They were grim while they lasted, but did her no harm during her waking hours, and she rarely remembered them during the daytime. Just the rest of the family traumatised lol.

PolterGoose Sat 05-Dec-15 21:24:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CalloftheHaunted Sun 06-Dec-15 23:59:35

my DS has about 2 a month at the moment. He has emotional issues (waiting for assessment). I find now that when he is talking during the terrors I respond to his problems and saying I'm helping and it calms him quite quick. So, for example, if he's crying out that he can't find something, I tell him I've found it and he now has it and he settles almost instantly back to sleep.

Maybe keep a food/mood diary to see if there is anything triggering them in the day before?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Mon 07-Dec-15 06:41:29

My DS had them at around 18 months and he does have SNs (AS and dyspraxia). However I have never thought they were linked, never come across any studies or articles that suggest they are. We think it was fear of the dark that triggered them for DS, when we put a dimmer switch in his room and left the light on low every night they stopped. I was starting to suspect developmental issues around the same age, and did start the ball rolling on getting help via the health visitor around the age of 2-3 (can't remember exactly, he's 11 now). If you have concerns I really would seek help without delay, it is easy to just keep hoping everything will turn out ok, and it may well do so, but if there are issues, the younger you start to look for help the better.

kalidasa Mon 07-Dec-15 15:56:08

Thanks everyone. He's had them for about a year already. They are happening very often.

How old is your son Call? It just seems to make DS more agitated if you try to speak/engage with him mid-terror.

CalloftheHaunted Mon 07-Dec-15 23:14:35

He's 7. Does your speak too, or just cries/screams?

madwomanbackintheattic Tue 08-Dec-15 02:18:28

Dd2 had them most nights. She was about 2/3. No speech or anything, just uncontrollable crying and screaming. There was never anything you could do, just try to soothe - she wasn't really conscious. She didn't ever remember it during the day.

zzzzz Tue 08-Dec-15 08:23:01

Some forms of epilepsy show like this. I'm sorry I don't know very much about it as for us it was a transient stage going from very unwell to much improved.
I would see the Dr myself. What are the other niggles? As said above, mothers usually get a feeling.

kalidasa Tue 08-Dec-15 12:00:09

Call Yes he sometimes talks a bit but not really coherently. Mostly it's just the full pitch wailing/thrashing around. Eyes often (not always) open though.

The other concerns are so vague. He just seems a bit . . . unusual. Too sensitive? Too worried about things? Very fragile and easily overwhelmed. I think there are maybe some sensory issues. Who knows! It has struck us more since having DS2. Suddenly all the stuff the books/guides say actually make sense and work with DS2. Made us feel better actually, I think we just thought we were unusually incompetent! The only concrete thing is that DS1 complains a lot about knee pain, which is a bit of a worry as I had juvenile arthritis which started when I was v small with evening knee pain. But we've got a referral to have that checked.

kalidasa Wed 09-Dec-15 10:13:48

I feel bad re reading that, sounds so negative! He's a lovely boy. And actually he slept through last night (a very rare occurrence). I just don't know whether my v vague worries amount to anything. DH thinks not.

Interesting about the epilepsy. Will check that.

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