Autism & Disability
The prevalence of sleep problems reported by parents of children living with Autism is profound. This is echoed by parents raising children with other intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders (i.e. ADHD, FASD, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, genetic conditions, and more).
Scientific studies show rates of sleeplessness as high as 83%! Researchers cite biological causes such as irregularities in the circadian rhythm, and/or low levels of natural melatonin production, but there are other important psychiatric, environmental and behavioural causes to explore. Things like social cues, stimuli sensitivities, and anxiety all play a role.
What many don’t realize is the serious implications that sleeplessness can cause during the awake hours. Sleep disorders have been associated with increased rates of depression, aggression, anxiety, inattentiveness, hyperactivity, irritability and other behavioural problems – not to mention poor concentration and learning.
I view sleep from a holistic, and developmental perspective, supporting you to work with your family doctor to rule out any possible medical cause for sleep disturbance.
Common Sleep Problems:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Frequent awakenings
- Early risers
- Restless or poor quality sleep
- Not falling asleep in own bed
- Increased tiredness and napping during the day
- Difficulty settling or following a bedtime routine
- And more…