Sleep Disturbances Linked to Autism

Monday 3rd May 2010

New research shows that autistic children with sleep disorders may exhibit an increased number of challenging daytime behaviours. Researchers at the Autism Speak's Autism Treatment Network suggests that treating sleep disorders such as night terrors could be key to treating and reducing problem behaviours in children with autism or aspberger's syndrome.

Researchers studied the behaviour and sleeping habits of children aged between 2-18 years old who had been diagnosed with aspberger's syndrome or autism. Parents of the children also completed a questionnaire. Scientists examined the data and concluded that children with sleep problems were more likely to have emotional problems and behavioural problems.

It is hoped that the research will enable medical professionals to better understand and treat autistic children with sleep issues. Daniel Coury, director of the Autism Treatment Network, claims that understanding the relationship between sleep and autistic behaviour could lead to improved treatment for both conditions.

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