Children with additional support needs are far more likely to have serious sleep problems than other children. They may not settle, or wake frequently throughout the night or very early in the morning. Children can be very noisy or distressed and cannot be left unattended. Often parents have to sleep in shifts for months or years.
It's not just the children — sleep deprivation has a devastating effect on the whole household. It affects the health of the parents and how well they look after all their children. It is often the cause of family break-up where children end up in care. There is little night-time respite care available.
Sleep problems can be effectively treated using specially adapted behavioural and cognitive techniques. This reduces stress levels for the parents which in turn leads to improved health and quality of care for the whole family. Parents and carers can look after their children better, and make the best decisions about care for their children with additional support needs.
The Way Forward
Our aim is to work in partnership with Local Authorities and Health Trusts to establish locally controlled services. Sleep Scotland's vision is to establish sleep counselling as part of a package offered to families with children with additional support needs.
Aims Of Sleep Scotland
Sleep Scotland is a charity which supports the parents and carers of children and young people with additional support needs and sleep problems.
- to help children and young people with additional support needs to sleep better and consequently to improve their daytime performance
- to help parents and carers by giving them specific tried and tested behavioural and cognitive techniques to adapt their child's night-time behaviour
- to provide training for professionals from health, social work, education and the voluntary sector
- to establish sleep clinics to provide families with support and counselling
- to run a support line between the hours of 9.30 and 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday, on 0131 651 1392
- to raise awareness of the problems caused by sleep difficulties in children and young people with additional support needs
- to promote the availability of a sleep counselling service as part of the role of the statutory sector
To download our information leaflet please click here