Gemma’s son Logan is nearly three and has recently been diagnosed with Rhythmic Movement Disorder. Gemma contacted Tired Out because she wanted to share her story with other parents who are struggling with a child who does not sleep.
Logan was one and a half years old when he started to rock in his highchair. We didn’t think anything of this, then he started to rock and head butt his cot. He would rock back and forth banging his back and head against the bars, we would lay him down and he would just do it again. He would rock for four or five hours every night, I would have to get up and sleep in his room then try to get up for work. This carried on for a few months, we thought it was just a phase. We all had very little sleep. I finally cracked and contacted my GP and Health Visitor, It wasn’t easy and I had to fight for Logan to get treatment because he was so young. Eventually we got a referral to a sleep clinic at Southampton General Hospital.
We had to keep a two week sleep diary then Logan underwent a five night sleep study for Rhythmic Movement Disorder. Logan showed classic signs of Rhythmic Movement Disorder; he also has speech and development delays and is being observed for Autism. Finally with the Rhythmic Movement Disorder diagnosis we are trying medication which at the moment isn’t working and we are waiting to visit the clinic again. Staff at the clinic have been amazing, really welcoming and supportive and we have been given a bed surround so that when Logan rocks he can’t hurt himself. There are other treatments available for Rhythmic Movement Disorder but Logan is currently too young.
Logan will rock during the day and during the night, lack of sleep makes is behaviour unpredictable and he can lash out, especially at his older sister. I’ve had to give up work to look after Logan, trying to work whilst caring for Logan was starting to affect my health. So it’s better for the family for me to be at home. We are exhausted and taking one day at a time but I want other families to know there is help and support for children who don’t sleep. Don’t give up, if you think something isn’t right, fight for help. I fought for Logan and I’m glad I did.
If you would like to share your families sleep story, please contact Tired Out.