Sleep disturbances associated with behavior problems in children with autism

Reports have suggested that sleep problems in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are associated with challenging daytime behaviors.

A new study on a large group of youths with ASD confirms these reports and will support the development of treatments for as a way to improve behavior, according to researchers from Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Results of the study, and three others conducted by the ATN, will be presented Sunday, May 2 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

An estimated one in 110 U.S. children has autism, a group of complex developmental brain disorders that affect behavior, social skills and communication.

The ATN, which includes 14 treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada, enrolls patients ages 2-18 years with a diagnosis of , Asperger's syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Parents of children participating in the ATN completed the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist. An analysis of 1,056 children found an association between sleep problems and problematic daytime behaviors, especially and anxiety. Children who got less sleep had more emotional problems, and children who had parasomnias, including nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking, had more overall.

"This study contributes to our understanding of sleep issues and helps us to plan future work addressing more specific symptoms and treatments," said Daniel Coury, MD, medical director of the ATN and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at The Ohio State University. "A better understanding of the relationship between sleep problems and daytime behavior could lead to more effective treatments for both."

Provided by American Academy of Pediatrics
Citation: Sleep disturbances associated with behavior problems in children with autism (2010, May 2) retrieved 16 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2010-05-disturbances-behavior-problems-children-autism.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 08, 2010
One much-complained-of source of bad sleeping experiences is electro-magnetic fields. Gangs in the streets are using EMF weapons to harass selected citizens and their families, something else much-complained-about (e.g. http://www.raven1.net). Maybe this new data will support my view that (re vaccines and autism) there is a synergistic relationship between exposure to electro-magnetic fields and receiving TCV vaccines.
TCV were given out on a name-recorded basis, each baby's name being sent off with the vaccine order. This means the vaccine distributor had access to the name of recipient. This not only enables deliberate targeting by malicious people using the process, it also means any research on adverse vaccine results could easily be skewed by the vaccine sellers, simply by controlling choice of subjects.
Strangely, one such vaccine maker got a special mention in the voluminous (and rushed) post-9/11 legislation in the USA, giving them protection from law proceedings.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more