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Fear of 'disappearing'

This discussion was created from comments split from: Ask a Sleep Practitioner.


  • PaulaMcCPaulaMcC Member Posts: 6 Connected
    edited September 2014
    My son is 9 years old, has a diagnosis of Asd and Adhd. He is on meds during the day for his adhd and takes melatonin at nights. He has a fear of 'disappearing' when he goes asleep and that mum and dad will disappear too. It's gotten worse lately as he's now afraid of dreams and doesn't want to go asleep in case he dreams. I've tried to explain dreams aren't real but he's having none of it, he says they are real. Do you have any advice on how best to address this anxiety? Thanks, Paula
  • SleepPractitionersSleepPractitioners Member Posts: 43 Courageous
    edited September 2014
    Hi @PaulaMcC,
    Talking about 'bad' dreams can be a really good distraction technique for children. Attention good or bad, children don't know the difference! We practise positive reinforcement here so ignore the negative behaviours.
    A social story will help, as will some family photo's in his room. He has been with people all day long and then you leave him in a room on his own, that doesn't go down well with children!
    The routine before bedtime is also really important in preparing a child for sleep!
    Em x
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