Sleep Concerns in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Special needs parenting Sleep disorders in autism Sleep problems
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