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Frequently Asked Questions for:

What is Magic Blackout Blind?

We are introducing Magic Blackout Blind following the success of Magic Whiteboard on Dragons Den. It allows you to blackout windows - anywhere, in seconds. Magic Blackout Blind is a temporary blackout blind window covering that allows you to quickly and easily blackout light. Magic Blackout blind is a new type of blackout material. No tools are required. Magic Blackout blind is ideal for blacking out light from bedrooms, offices, children's nurseries, shop windows, boats, cabin cruisers, caravans, classrooms, TV studios, new homes, new builds, holiday accommodation and apartments, rented accommodation, student houses and flats. Magic Blackout Blind is quick and easy way to blackout windows. Click here to see a 1 minute video demonstration of how to use Magic Blackout Blind.

How does it stick and will it leave any marks?

Because Magic Blackout Blind is statically charged it will stick to glass and windows without needing tape, bluetac or glue - so it never leaves any marks! It’s incredibly simple to fit and no tools are required. Magic Blackout Blind is quick and easy to fit and stops all light.

What type of windows can you apply Magic Blackout Blind to?

Magic Blackout Blind can be safely applied to normal single glazed or double glazed windows, the type you would find in a house or office.

DO NOT apply to laminated glass, windows that are strengthened with wire, textured or patterned glass, tripe plane glass or Velux windows or similar roof lights . (Please refer to Safety information on main page). Magic Blackout Blind is a temporary blackout blind that is designed to be removed on a daily basis. Velux windows and roof blinds are usually positioned at 45 degree and the film may not stick or stay in place due to gravity.

Who uses Magic Blackout Blind?

Our customers include – parents with babies who have trouble sleeping, children’s nurseries, caravan and mobile home owners, people who have moved into new homes, parents on holiday with young children (as a portable travel blackout blind) , teachers who want to darken rooms when using projectors and interactive whiteboards, photographers and camera men who need to blackout bright light, AV companies, film makers, construction worker. Magic Blackout Blind is also popular with customers who live in rented accomodation who are not allowed to put up curtains and blinds in the property.

How long will it stick to windows and glass?

Please note that Magic Blackout Blind is for temporary use ONLY and should not be applied permanently, it is advised that the film be removed daily. Magic Blackout Blind is designed to be used early evening until morning and for afternoon naps. Do not leave on windows in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

The exact time depends on how many times you take it down and reapply it. The sheets will typically last 6-8 weeks. When not on the window store on a hard flat surface like a wall or wardrobe door.

To recharge the static in the sheets rub with a fibre cloth - this will generate static. The sheets will naturally display creases after a period of time due to exposure to heat and the sun.

How many times can Magic Blackout Blind be reused?

Magic Blackout Blind is a temporary blackout blind window covering that can be reused on a daily basis (the exact number of times depends on how often you take it up and down), just peel off and reuse. Typically the sheets will last for 6-8 weeks and will naturally crease over time due to exposure to heat and the sun.

If you intend to use at night and remove from the window in the day we recommend that you place the sheet on a wall or waredrobe door. This will help keep the static on the sheets. If the sheets lose the static you can recharge them by placing near a TV or rub the sheets with a fibre cloth - this generates static , the static will transfer onto the sheets. Magic Blackout Blind easier to fit and will save you time.

Can the Magic Blackout Blind sheets be folded up after use?

Yes, the Magic Blackout Blind sheets can be folded after use. Many customers take the sheets off the window when they don’t need to blackout the light and place the sheets on a wall.

How many sheets are on a roll?

Each roll contains 10 perforated sheets, the roll is 8 metres long. Magic Blackout Blind is lightweight and poratble. Ideal for taking on holiday to stop children waking at 5am.

What size are the Magic Blackout Blind sheets?

Each Magic Blackout Blind sheet measures 60cm wide and 80cm deep or 24 inches by 32 inches. There are 10 sheets on a roll, enough for 5 standard double windows. Magic Blackout Blind very easy to fit, tear off a sheet of Magic Blackout Blind and place on the window. Cut to Magic Blackout Blind to size using scissors, no other toold are required.

Does it work on windows prone to condensation?

For best results use on Magic Blackout Blind on dry windows.

Does Magic Blackout Blind work on double glazed windows?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind works on double and single glazed windows. Magic Blackout Blinds are an easier and cheap alternative to blackout blinds or blackout curtains.

Is Magic Blackout Blind recyclable?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind is fully recyclable, place in the plastics recycling container. It has been designed and produced using environmentally friendly methods. Magic Blackout Blinds are also reusable.

What is it made of?

Magic Blackout is made from statically charged polypropylene film.

How heavy is each roll of Magic Blackout Blind?

Each roll weights just 0.60 Kilograms. It’s perfect for blocking out light in rooms. If you take a few sheets on holiday with you it will make a great practical travel blackout blind. Ideal if there are no curtains or blinds in the accommodation.

Is Magic Blackout Blind patented?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind was patented in 2000, this will expire in 2020.

Can it be used as a baby blackout blind?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blinds make a fantastic baby blackout blind, you can blackout windows instantly. Just tear off a sheet and place on the window. Magic Blackout blinds will stop bright sunshine coming into bedrooms and baby rooms and nursuries. You can also take on holiday with you. Magic Blackout blind is portable and lightweight and stops all light even around the window edges.

Can Magic Blackout Blind be used by cameramen and film producer to reduce light when filming?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blinds are very effective in reducing light when filming on location and when on a film set. Magic Blackout Blind comes on a lightweight roll and you just tear off a sheet and place on the window. This sheets sticks using static and leave no marks on surfaces. You don't need gaffer tape and the Magic Blackout Blind sheets are reusable. It is also easier and quicker to fit. It takes seconds. If you are currently using arrotek sheeting or bolton blackout cloth then Magic Blackout Blind is a quicker and cheaper alternative. Magic Blackout Blinds are very popular in the film industry for reducing unecessary light and reducing glare. Some customers are using it to stick to ceilings to darkness down rooms, you don't have to paint the wall. Just place the Magic Blackout Blind sheets on the surface and peel off when finished.

Can teachers use Magic Blackout Blind to stop light coming into classrooms?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blinds are temporary blackout blinds that are fitted in seconds. The sheets cling to classroom windows using static. Simply place on classroom windows and remove when not required. Magic Blackout Blind helps teachers and students see the interactive whiteboard more clearly.

Can you overlap the Magic Blackout sheets? Do they still cling to glass when overlapped?

Yes, you can overlap the Magic Blackout Blind sheets to make them fit your exact window size. The sheets can be placed on top of each other and will still stick to the window. Magic Blackout Blinds are easier than blackout blinds to install, no tools are required. Just cut the Magic Blackout Blind sheets to size using scissors.

Can you used Magic Blackout Blind on holiday?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind is ideal for taking on holiday to stop bright sunshine coming through windows, especially if you are travelling with children or kids. Magic Blackout Blind is portable and lightweight. Magic Blackout Blind only weighs 600 grams. Magic Blackout blind comes on a convenient roll and will fit in a suitcase or you can tear off a few sheets, fold or roll the Magic Blackout Blind sheets and put them in your luggage. An easy way of ensuring parents don't get woken but by children at 5am or dawn. Magic Blackout Blind helps children and parents sleeping longer.

Can you use Magic Blackout Blind as travel blackout blinds?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blinds are portable and lightweight travel blackout blinds. You can take a few sheets on holiday with you just in case their are no curtains. Magic Blackout Blind was designed to be taken with parents whenever they travel with young children or babies. Magic Blackout Blind is a new type of blackout material and an alternative to a blackout blind. No longer will you have to hang blankets, sheets and pillowcases from the curtain pole.

Magic Blackout Blind is a portable blackout blind and window covering. You can cover a window in about 10 seconds. It's quick and easy to fit. You can also use Magic Blackout Blind in cars when traveling as a sunshade, simply place on the car windows.

Magic Blackout Blind will keep bright sunshine from shining on your children and baby. Magic Blackout Blind is a lightweight portable travel blackout covering and blackout blind. 

For any parent who has ever struggled hanging blankets over curtain rails to block light from a child's bedroom, babies room or nursery. It will keep your child and babies in the dark and help them get better sleep and you! Children benefit from sleeping past dawn, Magic Blackout Blind stops the sunshine coming into their bedrooms and nurseries.

Magic Blackout Blind keeps out the sunshine and will allow your child to sleep without being disturbed by the early morning sun. This is essential if your child's room faces east.

Magic Blackout Blind helps keep out the light which means your child can have a nice nap in the afternoon without sunshine keeping them awake.

Magic Blackout Blind is a best selling an indispensable travel accessory.

Incredibly simple to fit, Magic Blackout Blind clings to windows using static, giving the closest possible fit to keep out the longest summer evenings & the earliest dawns.

Magic Blackout blind is also useful if you've got streetlights near your home - these can create a strange colour light through normal blinds and curtains.

As your child grows older you'll also find Magic Blackout blind useful in summer evenings when it stays light so late and the kids want to stay up because they can see the sunshine peeping through curtains.

You might also find Magic Blackout blind useful for your own bedroom if you're going to need naps in the afternoon too!

Can you use Magic Blackout Blind for blacking out windows while window dressing in shops?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind works really well to temporarily blackout shop windows while store staff are changing a window display. We have many customers who use it while window dressing. Magic Blackout Blind is quick and easy to fit, and you will blackout a large shop window in minutes. After the window has been dressed you simply peel off the Magic Blackout Blind sheets. No marks will be left on shop window and you can reuse the Magic Blackout Blind sheets for another window when required.

Can you use Magic Blackout Blind in caravans?

Yes, you can use Magic Blackout Blind to stop sunlight coming into caravans. It is popular with static caravans and mobile caravans. It can also be used in motorhomes to stop light coming into vehicles. It very useful to have on holiday to stop children waking up at dawn. It will help you get a couple of hours extra sleep.

Can you use Magic Blackout Blind in static caravans, mobile homes and log cabins?

Yes, you can use Magic Blackout Blind to stop sunlight coming into static caravans, mobile homes and log cabins. It is ideal if you are going on holiday to a caravan park or a holiday home. It will help children stay in bed longer and parents will get a couple of hours extra sleep. Simply tear a sheet off roll and place on windows, no marks will be left of glass.

Does Magic Blackout Blind stop light coming into bedroom windows?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind will blackout bedroom windows and stop light coming in bedrooms. This will help you get a good nights sleep. Magic Blackout Blind is an easier and cheap alternative to blackout blinds. Ideal if you are waiting for curtains to be made and in children's nurseries.

Does Magic Blackout Blind work on Velux windows?

Due to the specific construction of Velux windows DO NOT USE Magic Blackout Blind on Velux Windows or similar roof blinds. Due to the 45 degree angle of these windows, the film may not stick and fall off. Magic Blackout Blinds are designed for temporary use and should be taken down on a daily basis.

Do you have a video clip that shows how to use Magic Blackout Blind?

Yes, we have produced a 1 minute video clip that demonstrates how to use Magic Blackout Blind. To see the video click here

Have you recently moved home, ordered new curtains and are waiting for curtains to be fitted?

If you have recently moved to a new home and ordered new curtains and you may be waiting for your new curtains to arrive. These can often take 4 to 6 weeks. Magic Blackout Blinds can be fitted in seconds and requires no screws or manual installation . Simply place the Magic Blackout Blind sheets on the window and it will blackout all light. Sheets can be removed in the day or when not in use, simply place on a wall or cupboard door. Also, no marks will be left of glass.

How dark will Magic Blackout Blind make the room?

Any room or children's nursey will go dark immediately. See some photos of Magic Blackout Blind in our photo gallery. These were taken on a very hot summers day with very bright sunshine. The room in completely dark. See photos at http://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/gallery/blackout/ . No light will come through the glass. Magic Blackout Blind is quick and easy to fit, and stops all light, even round window edges.

I have blackout blinds and blackout curtains but they let in light, does Magic Blackout let in light

Unlike blackout blinds and blackout curtains that often let in light around edges of windows and window frames, Magic Blackout Blind will blackout all light. It is also incredibly easy and simple to fit, just place the sheet on the window. You don't need to do any drilling or screwing to fit Magic Blackout material. No light will come in, Magic Blackout Blind stops all light even around the top and sides of window edges.

I have struggled hanging blankets over curtain rails to block light,is Magic Blackout Blind easier?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind is really easy to fit and really easy to take down, tear off a sheet and place on a window. Magic Blackout comes on a lightweight roll (it weighs only 600 grams) so you won't need to struggle fitting blankets to the curtain poles. Magic Blackout Blind will also stop all light and look much better than blankets or cardboard. Magic Blackout Blind is easier to fit than normal blackout blinds and blackout curtains.

I keep getting woken up by neighbours security light at night. Will Magic Blackout stop this?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind will stop all light and will stop you getting woken up and disturbed by motion detected security lights that come on in the middle of the night. Magic Blackout Blind stops all light so you will not be woken up by flashing security lights.

I'm going on holiday and the curtains in the cottage are thin? Will Magic Blackout Blind work

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind stops all light and is ideal if you are going on holiday or travelling and don't know what type of curtains will be in the room. Place a sheet of Magic Blackout Blind on the window and no light will come through the window. Never again will you have to try and fix towels and sheets around the window and curtain pole.

I'm looking for temporary blinds or temporary curtains,is Magic Blackout Blind what I'm looking for?

Magic Blackout Blind is a simple and effective temporary alternative to blackout blinds and blackout curtains. We have lots of customers who use Magic Blackout Blind who live in rented accomodation, or have recently moved and are waiting for their new curtains. Magic Blackout Blind is fitted in seconds, so if you need temporary blinds or temporary curtains this is just what you need to blackout light. Magic Blackout Blind is an easier and cheap alternative to blackout blinds or blackout curtains.

I own a boat and my boat curtains and boat blinds don't keep light out, does Magic Blackout work?

Yes, we have lots of boat and cabin cruiser owners who use Magic Blackout Blind to stop the light and sunshine coming into the lounge cabin. Often existing boat curtains and boat blinds are not very effective. Magic Blackout can be quickly and easily placed on boat windows and it will stop light entering the cabin. This will help you and your guests sleep for longer. Magic Blackout Blinds works on vertical windows and windows which are at an angle. You can cut Magic Blackout Blind to the shape of your windows with a pair of scissors.

Is Magic Blackout Blind like using blackout blinds?

Magic Blackout Blind temporary blackout window covering that is much easier and quicker to fit. It is a new type of blackout material. It also blacks out all light, unlike some blackout blinds. No tools are required. You simply tear off a sheet and it will cling to the windows. No marks will be left on the glass and you can remove it in seconds. You can fold it or keep it on a nearby wall when you want light in the room. Magic Blackout Blind is a temporary blackout window covering that stops all light, even around the window edges.

I suffer from jet lag, will Magic Blackout Blind help me sleep better?

Yes, customers have brought Magic Blackout Blind because it is so lightweight when travelling. They take a few sheets and fold them up and put them in with their luggage or take the roll. On arriving at your travel destination, simply unfold the Magic Blackout Blind sheets and place on the windows. They will stop all light. Magic Blackout Blind is really useful if your hotel or accomodation has thin curtains that don't stop light coming through.

I use cut out piece of cardboard or towels to blackout light, is Magic Blackout Blind better?

Yes, Magic Blackout blind is more effective than sticking cardboard and or covering windows with towels because it will blackout all light even around the edges of windows. Magic Blackout Blind is also less unsightly and looks professional. Magic Blackout blind will stop all light coming through windows.

My children often stay at grandparents but they don't have blinds - will Magic Blackout Blind work?

Yes, we have lots of grandparents who use Magic Blackout Blind when their grandchildren come to visit to temporarily blackout light in bedrooms. Often grandparents don't want to fit a permanent blackout blind or blackout curtain. Magic Blackout Blind is better and more effective than trying to pin sheets and blankets to the window frame or over the curtain pole. Magic Blackout Blind in the November edition of Good Housekeeping, page 132 was recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute, tried, tested and trusted team. Magic Blackout Blind has also been recommended by The Sunday Times Travel section and Which magazine.

My children won't go to bed because it is still light at bedtime, will Magic Blackout Blind work?

Yes, by placing Magic Blackout Blind on your children's windows it will stop all light (even round the window edges). This will create an instantly darkened room. Our daughter used to do this. When we stuck Magic Blackout Blind on the windows she thought it was dark outside and thought it was bedtime. Magic Blackout Blind also helps stop children waking up at 5am in the morning when the sun rises.

My children won't go to bed because they say "it's not bedtime, it's not dark outside"

This is a very common question when the clocks go forward in the Spring and throughout the summer months. Magic Blackout Blind will help create an instantly dark bedroom when you are struggling to get your children to sleep when it is still light outside at their bedtime. Magic Blackout Blind stops all light and will convince them it is dark outside and time to go to bed. Useful when travelling and when on holiday.

My kids are visiting their grandparents who don't have curtains will Magic Blackout Blind work?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind is very popular with grandparents and parents. When visiting grandparents take a roll roll of Magic Blackout, tear off a sheet and place on their bedroom windows. You don't have hassle of fitting and blind. Magic Blackout Blind is a great temporary solution if you are visiting someone else house for the weekend. Magic Blackout Blind will help stop children waking up really early in the morning due to bright sunshine. Magic blackout blinds will help everyone get more sleep in bed.

My son is autistic, and we need to blackout his room. Will Magic Blackout Blind work?

Magic Blackout Blind will stop all light coming into a bedroom so will help create a calm environment and encourage routine and sleep. The National Autistic Socieny has more information for parents. Go to http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=528&a=3376

What causes sleep disorders?

Settling and waking problems
The answer to this is likely to be different for every person. Unfortunately it seems that virtually all children with autism are likely to suffer from disturbed sleep patterns at some point or another. Sleep problems can be divided into two main groups: settling problems, where the child has difficulty going to sleep at the appropriate time, and waking problems, where the child wakes repeatedly during the night. Both of these will be dealt with on this page. 
 
We don't know why children with autism are so vulnerable to disturbed sleep, but Donna Williams, who has written extensively about living with an autistic spectrum disorder, describes her fear of falling asleep in her autobiography:

"Sleep was not a secure place. Sleep was a place where darkness ate you alive. Sleep was  a place without colour or light. In the darkness you could not see your reflection. You couldnt get lost in sleep. Sleep just came and stole you beyond your control. Anything that robbed me of total control was no friend of mine."

Waking problems may in some cases be a continuation of settling problems - like the child who wakes up to go to the toilet but then finds it difficult to fall asleep again. In very young children, waking problems are an indication that they still haven't developed mature sleep patterns. As babies they woke up to feed every couple of hours and this pattern hasn't yet been eradicated. In the older child with autism, there may be an indication that they suffer from sleep disturbances. This could mean anxiety - making it difficult for them to fall into a deep sleep - or acute nightmares.

Although many experts would suggest approaches to waking problems such as bed-time fading - where you look in on your child when he/she wakes but for shorter periods each time so that they learn not to rely on this behaviour for attention - we would suggest that attention is unlikely to be the main motivation of children with autism. Instead, coping with waking problems may require consistent reassurance on your part and a creative approach to your child's needs.

What can we do?

Natural remedies
Many of the natural remedies available from health food stores are supposed to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. These may have similar effects to conventional medicines but carry less risk of side-effects than conventional sedatives. You could also try contacting a homoeopath. You can find details of a local qualified homeopath by telephoning the Society of Homoeopaths on 0845 450 6611.

Removing stimulants from the diet
If you are already keeping a sleep diary then monitoring this should not be a problem. If you are not then it is advisable that you at least start keeping note of when your child sleeps so that you can monitor any improvements.  
 
Changing your child's bedtime routine can be stressful and if they are used to having certain drinks or snacks near bedtime, suddenly switching to something different may be counter-productive. However, you could change to decaffeinated drinks, replace ordinary chocolate with sugar-free chocolate bought in health food stores, use carob powder to replace cocoa and chocolate, switch to sugar-free drinks or replace sugar in drinks with sweetener or fruit sugar, which may help some children.

Alternatively, you could try gently phasing certain foods out over a period of days or weeks so that your child is consuming less and less sugar and caffeine overall without having anything suddenly taken away from them; for example, you could offer them one biscuit instead of two, put just half a spoonful of sugar in their tea and mix decaffeinated and caffeinated drinks together. This also has the advantage of reducing your child's taste for sweet foods, which can help improve oral hygiene.
 
Some people advocate making radical changes to the child's diet like completely eliminating sugar and caffeine. We would suggest that this is only worth doing if you have already tried a more moderate approach. We would also suggest that you should visit a dietician before introducing any major changes in order to ensure that you continue to offer your child a balanced diet.

Using relaxation techniques
We all have difficulty sleeping if we are feeling wound up when we go to bed. Settling down when a lot has been happening or when we are feeling emotional can be very difficult. Children with autism may not be able to articulate their need to unwind and relax. Additionally, they may feel more anxious and confused around bedtime.

Relaxation techniques can be introduced in low-key, non-intrusive ways in many areas of family life. Some possible techniques follow. 

  • Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your child's bath; this has been shown to have a soothing effect.
  • Giving your child a massage. Direct skin contact can be uncomfortable for some children with autism but some types of massage, such as shiatsu, can be conducted through clothing. A gentle foot, hand or scalp massage in the right environment might help your child to calm down before going to bed. Please see the 'Useful reading' section for details of books on this subject.
  • Introducing an hour's quiet time before the child's bedtime could serve two purposes. Doing a quiet activity, perhaps with help from you or a sibling, could help them unwind and it also provides a valuable social cue. If everyone in the house is quiet and relaxed then the message the child receives is consistent, not mixed as it is if the house is still lively and noisy even though the child is expected to sleep. Clearly, introducing a quiet period in the day may be easier said than done but you could start with small things, such as suggesting the TV/computer is turned off for an hour. It may take a while to get into this pattern but it could have a huge impact when you do. It is even worth marking this quiet time on a daily timetable so the child knows what to expect and becomes familiar with this routine.
  • Many experts have said that teaching formal relaxation techniques to people with autism can be counter-productive as they may find them more distressing than relaxing. Some people advocate using exercise as a way of winding down and this does have some merits. Physically exhausting your children is a good way of ensuring that they sleep! Many children with autism enjoy rough and tumble play and although this may seem to be the opposite of the points made above regarding quiet time at the end of the day, it might be more effective for some children. You will know best whether your child falls into this group. 
  • Some parents have found formal relaxation aids such as music and exercises (for example yoga; please see the 'Useful reading' section) very useful. These aids are widely available and you can judge for yourselves what your child is most likely to respond to. Some parents have reported having lighting, such as a lava lamp, in the bedroom can be helpful.
  • It may be worth providing the child with a set time to talk about their day or their worries as part of the evening routine. It may even help to have a 'worry book' or diary next to the bed so the child can write down or draw any concerns. They are then dealt with before bedtime. Alternatively, the child could have a worry box, so that worries can be written down and shut away in it. 

Establishing a routine
Children with autism respond well to routine and structure because it allows them to feel safe and in control. Although sticking to routines can be frustrating during the day, setting up a routine that fits in with your family's needs and helps your child feel calm by the time they go to bed could be very helpful. To do this effectively you will need to look carefully at the routine your family follows at the moment. Things to consider include:

  • Is it possible for you to eat dinner at the same time each night?
  • Do you do this already? 
  • Is this quite late in the evening or quite early?
  • Is it possible for your child with autism to have a bath at the same time each night? 
  • Is there anything about your child's routine that can only be done in your home? This could be something like playing on a particular climbing frame or having their own space for time out in the evenings.

Essentially, an evening routine needs to be fairly simple, with scope for flexibility. This means that if you go away, or your child goes away, the basic routine can be preserved. You could try something like:

  • 6.30pm: dinner 
  • 7.00pm: quiet time
  • 7.15pm: drink and a piece of fruit
  • 7.45pm: bath 
  • 8.25pm: clean teeth
  • 8.30pm: bedtime/sleep
  • 7.30am: waking up/getting up.

Essentially, whatever routine you try to impose needs to be something you feel comfortable implementing and that your family can agree on. It may take several weeks for it to alter your child's sleep patterns. It can help to present this routine visually, using a timetable for instance, so your child knows exactly what to expect, including getting up in the morning. If the routine needs to be altered, it can then be explained visually. It may be that your child's timetable needs to be more detailed so that they are told exactly what to do when going to bed, for instance, draw the curtains, get in to bed, turn light off, lie down, pull cover up.

It may also be worth setting aside time to prepare for the next day in the routine. This could include getting the school bag ready or making a list/timetable of things that need to be done the next day.

Making sleep more comfortable
Sleep, as Donna Williams describes it, sounds pretty uncomfortable. If that is what your child is experiencing then it is not surprising if they get a bit agitated near bedtime. But there are ways of working with your child's fears to help them. 

Some children are exceptionally sensitive to light so sleeping when there is even a very dim light on could be very difficult for them. Putting up thick curtains which will block out as much light as possible in your child's room.

Similarly, some parents have found that their children can be woken by very slight sounds at night. Aside from general advice about having a thick carpet in the room and making sure the door shuts properly, other parents have tried a more specific approach. One family found that after their child with autism had gone to bed, she could be woken by the noise of their changing in the bedroom next door. To solve this they moved her bed to the other side of the room and built shelves and cupboards along the wall the two rooms shared to act as sound-proofing. Sometimes even a computer left on standby can be enough to disrupt sleep. Ear plugs, or music playing on headphones, could also be used to block out noise for those children who are comfortable with wearing these.

Touch sensitivity is extremely common in autism: some children experience certain types of touch as physical pain. Temple Grandin (a woman with autism) describes being unable to sleep if one of her legs touches the other so she always has to wear pyjama trousers, even in the hottest weather. Labels on bed clothes and different materials can also be uncomfortable. Some children respond well to a weighted blanket, which is made from thick blanket material like a quilt with the pockets filled with beans instead of hollowfibre. The pressure of the blanket can be re-assuring and it works on much the same principle as the 'squeeze machine' which Temple Grandin invented to help her learn to cope with touch. Please see the 'Useful contacts' section for details of where you can buy weighted blankets.

It is also worth considering if smells in the room, or coming from other parts of the house, may effect people with heightened senses.

The layout of the room may also need to be adjusted. Although it may be comforting for some children to have lots of their belongings around them, it may serve to be quite distracting for others. Even the colours of the room or pictures on the wall may be disturbing. See the NAS infromation sheet Creating an autism-friendly environment for further details: www.autism.org.uk/a-z  

Explaining sleep
As mentioned before, children can often have difficulty understanding the need for sleep. A social story (developed by Carol Gray) could be used to explain this. Please see the NAS Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations information sheet for further details. Visual supports, such as flow charts, could also be used to explain sleep; as can children's books that provide the biological explanation for sleep.

We are a car dealer and want to blackout car showroom windows for new car launch - will this work?

Yes, Magic Blackout Blind would work well to blackout carshow room windows for a new product launch. Magic Blackout Blind is a temporary window blackout covering. It is very easy to fit and no marks would be left on glass when you take Magic Blackout Blind down. Using Magic Blackout Blind will also create interest because customers will be curious why the car showroom windows have be blacked out. Mitsubishi have used Magic Blackout Blind over a weekend to stop customers looking in showroom and to generate interest in the product launch.

We want to create a mood room and sensory room for babies - will Magic Blackout Blind work?

Yes, customers buy Magic Blackout Blind to create a better sensory experience, ideal if you are trying to create a mood room or sensory room in a school, village hall, hospital or hospice. Some customers use to create better baby sensory experiences.

What if my windows are bigger than sheets?

You can overlap the Magic Blackout Blind sheets over each other. You could also not tear the sheet at the perforation and then cut to size with a pair of scissors. Each roll is 8 metres in length.