Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fascinating documentary about the behaviour of a little girl

I was entranced and fascinated while recently viewing the British documentary Can't Sleep Kid in full for the first time on the ABC. It was a repeat, but I never saw the whole thing when it was first broadcast. This documentary follows the search for a diagnosis or an explanation by the parents of an adorable little British girl named Jessica, who has had a disturbed sleep pattern since very early in her life. Contrary to what it says in one summary of this doco, the doco is not "a fascinating look at sleep disorders in children", as the doco focuses on one child patient (Jessica) of the Evelina Children’s Hospital paediatric Sleep Disorder Unit in the UK, and it turns out that she doesn't actually have a sleep disorder, but something which I find much more fascinating and amazing.

I urge the many readers of this blog who are interested in the tragic life story of the American girl Jani Schofield to take a look at this documentary, and maybe consider a couple of ideas while viewing it:
- how many similarities and differences can you see between the two cases of Jessica and Jani?
- if Jessica had lived in the US not the UK and like Jani had been covered by the Oprah Winfrey Show rather than a British documentary, what difference might that have made to the way that she was made to look to the viewer? The night-vision video of Jessica in the doco reminded me of similar video of Jani as a baby that was, as I recall, used by the Oprah show in a way that was given a very negative spin. Little Jess could easily have been depicted as a Possessed Child of Satan with a bit of misuse of the eerie night-vision video, with the glowing eyes and the inexplicable behaviour, but the makers of the documentary Can't Sleep Kid were responsible adults with ethics and values.

I can't resist adding one more comment about Jessica, a prediction. I bet she turns out to be a smart child, maybe even having an IQ as high as the one that Jani Schofield apparently has. I know that Jessica's parents have shown great dedication already in looking after a child who has had an extremely trying sleep pattern, but I hope that they are also prepared for a future in which their child is still different and still presents special challenges in parenting and also in education, because I suspect that little Jess might be more than a gorgeous kid who resists sleep. Resisting sleep is a common trait of little kids who turn out to be intellectually gifted.

I believe this doco is still available to view on ABC iview. I'm not sure whether people from the US can use this service.

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