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Exercise, Sleep and Word-Learning in Autistic Children

Salford Autism Exercise Project

What’s on offer?

A series of short, online talks from experts highlighting the links between exercise, sleep, and language in autistic children, followed by discussion with attendees. We will also present some findings from the Salford Autism Exercise Project, investigating whether swimming can help autistic children with their sleep, and whether this, in turn, can help them learn new words. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions throughout, and ‘break-out rooms’ will be used after the presentations for attendees to share their experiences and discuss the topics further, in small groups.

What’s it about?

Autistic children often have problems with their sleep (getting to sleep, staying asleep, getting up too early, etc.), and this can have a big impact on them and their families. We know that exercise can help improve sleep in some children, and we also know that sleep is important for making memories, including learning new words. In the Salford Autism Exercise Project, we tested whether swimming lessons can help autistic children to sleep better, and whether improving sleep can also help the children learn words more easily. We will give an overview of existing research on sleep in autistic children, before telling you about the results of the project so far.

Who’s leading the event?

Eve Bent, Amy Bidgood and David Tate, who are all members of psychology staff at the University of Salford. Together, they run the Salford Autism Exercise Project (

Open to


Of particular interest to

Parents with autistic children and professionals working with autistic children, but anyone with children who have problems with sleep might also find it of interest.