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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2017 Jun;19(6):34. doi: 10.1007/s11920-017-0782-x.

Sleep in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. souders@email.chop.edu.
2
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
3
Thomas Jefferson University, 130 S. 9th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA.
4
AJ Drexel Autism Institute, 3020 Market St #560, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Abstract

The purposes of this paper are to provide an overview of the state of the science of sleep in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), present hypotheses for the high prevalence of insomnia in children with ASD, and present a practice pathway for promoting optimal sleep. Approximately two thirds of children with ASD have chronic insomnia, and to date, the strongest evidence on promoting sleep is for sleep education, environmental changes, behavioral interventions, and exogenous melatonin. The Sleep Committee of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) developed a practice pathway, based on expert consensus, to capture best practices for screening, identification, and treatment for sleep problems in ASD in 2012. An exemplar case is presented to integrate key constructs of the practice pathway and address arousal and sensory dysregulation in a child with ASD and anxiety disorder. This paper concludes with next steps for dissemination of the practice pathway and future directions for research of sleep problems in ASD.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; Behavioral intervention; Biological rhythms; Hyperarousal; Insomnia; Sleep

PMID:
28502070
PMCID:
PMC5846201
DOI:
10.1007/s11920-017-0782-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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