During these turbulent times we are currently going through, it’s important to think about how stress and anxiety impacts families, especially children with additional needs.
Monday 30th March marked the start of World Autism Awareness Week, a 7-day campaign that aims to spread awareness and increase acceptance. Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, according to the National Autistic Society. A sense of calmness is extremely important for families with children with ASD. Healthy family routines and quality sleep are now more important than ever, whilst in general, more than half of children with autism have one or more chronic sleep problems.
Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness is an audio-only app that supports all parents by providing them with tools to help manage children’s stress and anxiety and fall asleep quickly.
Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness works with leading sleep experts and psychologists like Dr Nerina Ramlakhan and Dr Azizi Seixas to create soothing melodic stories, meditations, music and sounds which can be incorporated into daily activities to enable the whole family to maintain healthy sleep and relaxation routines.
Aiming to help children aged from 4 to 10 years old, Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness has played 85 million bedtime stories since its launch.
Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness has recently conducted a survey* which found that:
- 38% of ASD children have an issue to fall asleep
- 97% of children with autism have sleeping issues!
- When it comes to bedtime issues, 26% of parents would like to know how to make their children fall asleep quicker
- 78% agreed that maintaining regular routines is key
*Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness surveyed 250 parents who have ASD children (average age 6).
Vicki Buchalik works as a consultant with companies like Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness to make their products and services more friendly for families with autistic children. She has 18+ years’ experience as a teacher and is mum of 8-year-old Jimmy diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
How can parents support their children with ASD? “Stay calm, especially in times like these, would be my answer. Parents often don’t realise that their children ‘mirror’ their feelings, ASD children are even more sensitive and pick up on your stress and anxiety. Whether it’s the bedtime or any other time during the day, it’s crucial to create healthy routines which support mindfulness for both parents and children. Take the time to ‘wind-down’ as a family. A calm and relaxed parent is the first step to a calm and relaxed child.” says Vicki Buchalik.
Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness has introduced a number of free to download features to the app over the last couple of weeks including Goldie Hawn’s ‘Brain Break’ – a 5 minute wind down technique to promote a sense of calm. This is also included on a ‘Relaxed Minds’ playlist which is another complimentary download on the app. There are also special stories created for and read by celebrities such as Goldie Hawn and Patrick Stewart.