Solving severe sleep problems in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
University of Canterbury (UC) researchers have made a major step forward in treatment of sleep problems in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in new research recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
“This is harmful to the child’s development in many areas of life and adds to the stress experienced by parents and siblings,” Associate Professor Laurie McLay, a principal investigator in the Good Nights Canterbury Autism and Sleep Project says.
“Before we began our research there was little guidance available to therapists about how to help families in this situation, especially those for whom the problem was severe.
“Our research has now shown that there are a range of strategies therapists can recommend to parents and children that are highly effective in helping children with ASD get a good night’s sleep, but they need to be tailored to each child”.
Funded by the Health Research Council (HRC) and the IHC Foundation, the UC research project involved over 40 families with a child aged 3 to 15 years who had received a clinical diagnosis of ASD, and had at least one severe sleep problem. Two-thirds of the children involved were boys.