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Sleep Support for Parents of Children with Autism

by Tina Goldsmith 24/06/2016
waking refreshed

Tired parents in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire are about to receive help. This is thanks to an innovative sleep project taking place across the regions. The Children's Sleep Charity have been funded by NHS England to pilot sleep workshops aimed specifically at children with autism and their families. 

It is estimated around 40% of children will suffer with sleep issues at some point during their childhood. This figure rises to 86% for children with additional needs. It is well documented that sleep deprivation can cause a wide range of difficulties for both parent and child. These include lowering of the immune system, behavioural issues and under-achievement in education. 

Vicki Dawson is the Founder of the Children’s Sleep Charity. This is a charity she set up to help sleep deprived parents to get a better night’s sleep. Vicki says:

"The charity supports all families to get a better night’s sleep.  We have been inundated with requests for support from families of children with autism. We are keen to explore ways to support them more effectively. This pilot project has provided the opportunity to consult with families in order to develop a package of support to meet their needs."

 Case Study

Marie Simmons is mum to Kristan who is six years old and on the Autistic Spectrum. He also has sensory processing difficulties. She received support from The Children’s Sleep Charity after suffering years of sleep deprivation. She says, 

“Kristan was up most of the night. I decided to get help and hoped there was a light at the end of what felt like a very dark tunnel. I approached The Children’s Sleep Charity who supported me to make changes to his bedtime routine. They also supported me through implementing the new programme, especially when I wanted to give up! After a few weeks Kristan started to sleep through the night. His behaviour improved in the day time and evenings are no longer spent running up and down the stairs. Our lives have changed so much now we can relax at night and get some sleep.”

To find out more about the charity's services or to book an appointment please email