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Project information

The Sleep Clinic

Two thirds of children with Autism experience sleep problems which have a shattering impact on them and their families. No specialised service currently exists in England to help them. We will establish a dedicated Sleep Clinic and share our findings, experiences and techniques on a national scale.

The Clinic would be set up as soon as funding can be found. We aim to make it a permanent service if possible but are seeking funding to establish it on an appropriate scale for an initial period of three years.

Charity information: The Together Trust

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  • Need


    Going without sleep affects mood, attention span, rate of learning, memory formation, coordination, mental and physical health. It can delay development and prevent learning of new skills. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to depression, seizures or self-harm. Caring for children with multiple disabilities already places a huge burden on parents/carers. Repeatedly disrupted sleep affects the parents' health and their ability to look after their children and to keep their family together.


    There is no existing specialist Sleep Service in England. We will establish a permanent Sleep Clinic to give specialist, tailored support to families, helping them identify the reason for their child's sleep disturbance and giving them practical strategies and support in order to improve things. We have tested this model with pupils at our own specialist school with great success but are receiving requests for the service from families across the region which we cannot fulfil.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give practical support 120 families during the first three years of the Sleep Clinic


    » We will promote the new service to families, support organisations and referring agencies to generate demand.
    » After an initial review meeting/home visit we will a tailored sleep management programme for each family and help them to implement it.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by acheiving the target of supporting 120 familes (averaging 40/year) but also evaluating the difference made to the child/family as a result of the work.

    Aim 2

    To improve understanding of the impact that managing sleep can have on managing Autism.


    » We will monitor each family we work with to gather data and case studies which show the progress of the project.
    » We will share our research findings with other organisations, agencies, carers and families to raise awareness.

    What success will look like

    Success will be gathering a bank of data and case studies which show the positive impact of Sleep work and which can be shared with target audiences after the initial three years

    Aim 3

    To create a Centre of Excellence for the North West which could be rolled out into other UK regions


    » We will share good practice and practical ideas with other organisations, agencies, carers and families.
    » We will promote the service to Commissioners with a view to creating a "saleable" service model that we or other organisations could deliver.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the overall impact on the families involved and on the level of interest from Commissioners or others in helping us continue and expand the project

  • Impact


    For the families we expect the change to their child's sleep patterns to be permanent and we will maintain a relationship with them for the long term to be sure this is the case. The efficacy of the work will also be independently assessed by Manchester Metropolitan University using a variety of methods.


    Child protection - all of our staff are subject to Disclosure pre-recruitment and child protection policies and procedures once in post. Lack or withdrawl of funding - we would not commence the project without three years full project funding in place which we feel would give us long enough to explore longer term funding options.


    We are happy to report in whatever form donors would like but could suggest a termly progress report (3 times/year) and a final project report. We would also provide copies of any research findings and invite donors to any conferences/dissemination events held.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £207,206

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £59,280 Yr 1 Salaries Delivery of sleep clinic
      £61,058 Yr 2 Salaries Delivery of sleep clinic
      £62,890 Yr 3 Salaries Delivery of sleep clinic
      £23,978 Other costs Overheads, training, materials, travel and dissemination
  • Background


    The Sleep Clinic will be based at Inscape House School, our specialist school for children with Autism in Cheadle however the work will be delivered in the homes of the families who are referred to us. They are likely to be based in the Cheadle/Greater Manchester/Lancashire areas but could in theory be anywhere in the region.


    Families with a child with Autism who directly approach us or are referred to us by organisations and agencies from across the North West. Autism and sleep disorders affect families from all kinds of backgrounds. Families will not need to be already accessing Together Trust education or care services.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Together Trust has been delivering services for over 140 years. We are a well-respected and trusted deliverer of high quality services in the North West. A number of of senior staff are considered specialists in their field, especially in the area of Autism. We have already trialled Sleep Clinic work in a small scale internal pilot and we know that the project works well. As a result of this work we have had interest from families and referral agencies across the region so there is demand.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chris Hoyle

    Chris will coordinate and lead the project. She is an experienced speech therapist and sleep counsellor at Inscape House.