Category Archives: Sleep and Your Special Needs Child

Top Five Tips for Better Bedtimes from Victoria Dawson #specialneeds #sleep

Victoria Dawson

Victoria Dawson is a sleep practitioner and special educational needs teacher. She is the founder of the Children’s Sleep Charity and has written sleep-training materials for Scope. She writes in the national press and presents at conferences across the UK.

Sleep and Your Special Needs Child, co-written by Dawson and Antonia Chitty, is out this month. Here, Dawson discusses her top tips for a better bedtime for your children and yourself.

If bedtimes are a battle it can leave you exhausted every evening. When your children have special needs it can seem difficult to build a good bedtime routine. Here are five tips to help you from sleep practitioner Victoria Dawson.

1. Start by writing your routine down so you know exactly what’s going to happen when. The act of writing can make you look at what you do at bedtime, and which parts of it are working and which are not.

2. Consider using a visual timetable so that your child knows what is coming next. Take photos or find drawings of your bedtime activities: a meal, bath time, teeth brushing, story time etc.

3. Fine motor skill activities are a great way of promoting calm in the run up to bedtime. Take time to help your child complete a jigsaw, for example. This is a great alternative to watching television and helps the brain wind down.

4. Try using music in the bedtime routine to promote calmness. Using the same calming tune every night can provide an auditory cue that it is bedtime. There are sound recordings specifically designed for children’s bedtime, some with just music, other with guided relaxation exercises and stories.

5. Seek advice from your child’s therapists. Your OT can provide sensory advice, the physio can help you with information on positioning and the speech therapist on promoting understanding around bedtime.

Sleep and Your Special Needs Child by Antonia Chitty and Victoria Dawson is available to order now with a limited time only discount.

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New series of books for parents of #specialneedschildren #parenting

handprint smallThe news series of books from Robert Hale for parents of children with special needs. What other topics should we cover? Victoria Dawson, Founder of The Children’s Sleep Charity, and I have been working in the fields of disabilities and special needs for a long time … I won’t say how long … and we’ve brought together our own interests with expert views and case studies and tips from parents in what we hope will be a practical series for every parent who is at the end of their tether, as well as those looking simply to make life better for the family.  Read about the books, below, and let us know what you think.

sleep 3d Sleep and Your Special Needs Child

Sleep is vital for children’s well-being. Without enough sleep their health, mood, behaviour and learning ability may all be impaired. Research shows that children with additional needs are more likely to have sleep disorders than typically developing children, and that without intervention these problems will persist. Victoria Dawson is a successful sleep practitioner and founder of the Children’s Sleep Charity. Here, together with health writer Antonia Chitty, she shares her own experiences, those of other sleep experts and those of parents. While most parents of babies expect sleep problems to resolve within months, parents of children with special needs can find them lasting into adolescence and beyond. This is a pressing issue for parents, as disturbed sleep can cause depression, relationship problems and a weakening of the immune system. The majority of parents receive little or no help with sleep problems, and few families have access to sleep practitioners. This book addresses sleep problems using a highly successful behavioural and cognitive approach to sleep management, and is the first book to explain these approaches in detail. The practical advice contained is invaluable for parents who want to feel more in control and more confident about tackling sleep issues in a way that is appropriate for their child.

food 3d Food and Your Special Needs Child

Children with special needs and disabilities may have accompanying issues with food and eating. This practical guide for parents will help navigate this often difficult terrain. In typically developing children, eating problems are relatively common, affecting 20 – 40% of children. In children with special educational needs and disabilities, eating problems can be even more common; they can be severe and can take many different forms. Anyone who has a child between the ages of two and nineteen with an additional need and a food or eating difficulty will find this book useful. Discover the origins of how we eat, and get practical tips from experts, plus read what has worked for other parents in similar situations.

 

journey 3dAre you worried that there is something wrong with your child? Many parents have concerns about their child’s development, and going through the process of assessment and diagnosis can be stressful. If you believe that there is something wrong with your child, but have yet to get a diagnosis, this book is for you. The Journey Through Assessment will help you through the period of uncertainty when you have to negotiate healthcare and education services. Compiled after extensive research and interviews with parents, it will help you navigate the processes necessary to gain access to the care that your child needs. Discover what might happen during the process, and get practical tips from experts, plus read what has worked for other parents in similar situations so you feel less stressed, less isolated and are more able to help your child on the journey through assessment.