The Struggle is Real
BY AMY SANNER
According to research from the American Academy of Pediatrics released in March 2019, children with autism and those with other types of developmental delays similar to those that are experienced by children diagnosed with autism often have a hard time falling and staying asleep. I know many parents of children with autism can confirm the truthfulness of this discovery.
Researchers reviewed the sleep habits of nearly 2,000 children ages 2-5. They found that children with autism and other similar delays are more than twice as likely to have sleeping difficulties than other children. Since problems sleeping has potential to affect the daytime behavior of children, more research was recommended.
Some strategies that you can use to improve your child’s sleep are to develop consistent bedtime routines, maintain consistent meal times through the day, and promote exercise during the day (including play time outside, when possible). For more information on developing quality sleep hygiene, see this presentation from the Autism Treatment Network.