Sleep Concerns in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Jenna WallaceEmail author
  • Jodi Lindsey
  • Victoria Lancaster
  • Meg Stone-Heaberlin


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often display disrupted sleep patterns that may include fewer hours of total sleep, difficulty falling asleep, middle of the night awakenings, and high activity levels when waking at inappropriate times of the night. These sleep disturbances negatively affect children’s mood, activity levels, attention span, and safety. Family functioning is impaired by the associated effects on caregiver sleep and the stress associated with the possibility that the child might be harmed when engaging in unsupervised activities during the night. This chapter provides therapists with psychoeducation about incidence, characteristics, and etiology of sleep problems in this population. Information is also provided about behavioral and pharmacological treatments used to intervene with these challenging behaviors.


Autism spectrum disorder Special needs parenting Sleep disorders in autism Sleep problems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenna Wallace
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jodi Lindsey
    • 1
  • Victoria Lancaster
    • 1
  • Meg Stone-Heaberlin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Section of NeurologyWVU School of MedicineMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral MedicineWVU School of MedicineMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Division of Developmental and Behavioral PediatricsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA

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