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Med Health R I. 2006 Mar;89(3):94-6.

Sleep in children with developmental disabilities.

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  • 1Department of Child and Family Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence 02903, USA.


Sleep disturbances are more common in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities than in non-disabled individuals. Given the potential benefit of improved sleep for a patient's daytime functioning, it is important that clinicians who work with this population query caretakers about sleep problems and offer intervention, whether behavioral or pharmacological. Sleep problems in children with developmental disorders often fail to improve spontaneously, as may be the case in typically developing children, which can lead to further distress, disappointment, and frustration for families. Attempting to resolve sleep difficulties as they arise can benefit not only the patient, but also the patient's caretakers.

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