“You shouldn’t restrain your child in an enclosed bed”, “It’s cruel”…
Freddie will hardly ever sit down and relax. He will wander around aimlessly, he needs to be shown where to go and what to do.
Freddie’s sensory signals and his responses are different to most people. He can take longer to process information, he can receive and respond to the information differently, and this can affect his normal everyday functioning.
He’s a sensory seeker, he craves sensory input. He will seek out things that satisfy him. This could be by touching everything, being drawn to moving and falling objects, and bright lights.
He’s constantly on the move. He can appear hyperactive and restless.
He never really seems comfortable, or like he can switch off and relax.
I’m constantly watching him, stopping him from touching things that he shouldn’t, and guiding him to go and sit down, play, or rest.
Freddie’s not naughty, but he is very driven by his sensory needs.
He’s vulnerable and has absolutely no sense of danger.
I’ve written before about the vestibular sense and proprioception.
A typically responsive vestibular system enables a child to feel secure and confident in their body, so they can move, attend to learn, and rest.
Freddie is under sensitive to vestibular input, and this input lets us know when we’re moving, how fast, and in which direction. It can affect balance and coordination.
Freddie can tolerate a lot of movement before his brain processes the information, and he realises he’s moving.
Proprioception is the sense of self movement and body position.
Freddie isn’t aware of personal space, and sometimes doesn’t know where his body is in space.
These sensory issues dramatically affect his ability to focus, remain calm, and rest.
To help Freddie rest, he has to be enclosed.
Once he’s enclosed in his bed, he’s calm and able to switch off easier, he has less to concentrate on, he isn’t being overwhelmed by his sensory needs, he feels secure in his body.
I will see a difference in his body language and facial expression, it’s like a fog has been lifted.
It reduces his anxiety and body movement.
Before he had the enclosed bed he would be awake at all hours, wandering around, not being able to settle, being destructive, putting himself in danger, and hyperactive.
Freddie has severe sleep issues.
Now that he has an enclosed bed, he feels safe, he can settle himself much better and finally relax. He sleeps better because he feels safe and secure.
Without the enclosed safe bed I don’t know what we’d do.
Some professionals disagree with “restraining” a child, probably because the equipment is so expensive and they don’t want to help fund it. But they don’t understand how tiring it can be for the family, sleep deprivation is torture for all involved.
An enclosed bed can be really beneficial to a child with sensory and sleep issues.
We use this product to protect Freddie, and to make him feel comfortable, not to isolate him, or “lock him away”.
Freddie’s sleeping patterns have improved enormously since having a safe bed. His focus, behaviour, and progress, have all improved because he’s getting some much needed rest.
My advice to parents is to do what works best for your family, and never feel guilty for making your child’s needs a priority.
Having an enclosed bed is not “cruel”. Cruel is allowing a child to cope with zero hours of sleep so that they can’t function daily or progress.
Professionals were quite happy for me to sedate Freddie regularly to help him sleep, but against an enclosed bed which is a natural solution to severe sleep issues. It doesn’t make sense. It helps their budgets for a short period, it doesn’t help my child, or their budgets long term.
Freddie is a happier child now.
Professionals who read this, and other parents who are against the enclosed beds, should stop questioning other parents decisions, stop making assumptions when you have no idea or understanding of the situation.
Educate yourselves on sensory and sleep issues, and stop trying to make parents like me feel bad for our choices.
We’re the ones who have our children’s best interests at heart, and make their happiness and safety a priority!