Many young people come to see me as they have lots of energy, hard to control what they say or do and/or trouble paying attention. When these start early in life (before the age of 12) and interfere with the quality of social and academic functioning, ADHD should be ruled out.
Sleep disorders can have negative effects on young people’s daytime academic performance, behaviour, developmentally and socially.
What are the red flags?
There are a number of red flags that you and/or your child might notice including:
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Sleeping too much
Night terrors, sleep-talking, sleepwalking or nocturnal enuresis
Being irritable or grumpy
Why this is happening?
In many cases, sleep disorders develop as a result of an underlying mental and/or physical health problem.
Some of the causes can include:
Stress and/or anxiety
Physical illness such as obesity, restless legs syndrome, allergy, obstructive sleep apnea, epilepsy
What is my approach?
As a first step, I will carry a thorough evaluation with you and/or your child. Screening questionnaires, physical examination or liaison with other professionals and school will be provided if you wish.
Once the condition(s) is identified, I will develop a personalized treatment plan jointly with you and/or your child based on personal needs. The treatment will include an integrated approach to achieve optimal night rest.
This can include:
Information and support to better understand and cope (psychoeducation)
Personal development and self-improvement
Person-centred talking therapy such as interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, play therapy, social skills therapy
Tailored learning techniques and/or behaviour learning plan with school when appropriate
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Mind-body centre exercise to increase the relaxation response
Empower parents through positive parenting techniques
Promote a healthy lifestyle through exercise, diet and micronutrients
State-of-the-art medication when appropriate