Given: a 5 year old kid with what is believed to be false spasmodic croup. Once in several months he experiences a sudden asthmatic fit in the middle of the night - specifically he has a mild spasm in breathing passages, he perceives that as inability to breath, tries to breath deeper, that enforces the spasm, he thinks he's suffocating. Once he breathes through the inhaler for about ten minutes the spasm goes away and the kid is fine.
The physician says this will just end in a couple of years once the kid grows up. Currently the problem is how to teach the kid to not panic in such cases.
There're two ways of addressing the asthmatic fit. The current way for him is to cry and panic and then a lot of effort is required to calm him and convince him to breath through the inhaler. The much better preferred way would be to him recognize the situation once it starts developing, try to breath shallow (that stops acute spasms) and calmly get to the parents, ask them to prepare the inhaler and breath through it.
The kid is smart and curious, but he just wouldn't listen about what is happening to him - perhaps discussing the problem is associated with the panic he experiences or maybe he feels bad that he causes such problems to his parents or maybe it's just boring for him. Whatever.
Is there a way to teach a 5 year old to stay calm and properly address sudden asthmatic fits?