12.07.2015
The majority of parents have some experience with a child who has a hard time falling asleep, wakes up often during the night, and only sleeps a few hours every night. Comments and DiscussionHave Your Say: Do you agree, disagree, want to discuss or add an opinion on this topic (Children with Autism and Associated Sleep Disorders).
People with REM disorder act out of their dreams and is characterized as temporary muscle paralysis. Parasomnias are undesirable or unpleasant behavioral phenomenon that happens exclusively during sleep. Most parasomnias include sleep-walking and talking and also night terrific dreams, which are commonly found in children. Hallucination, irritability, confusion are some of the symptoms experienced by wakefulness patients.
It is a neurological disorder that is characterized by having excessive sleeping along with some behavioral and cognitive problems during sleeplessness. Persistent and ongoing sleep disturbances may have a negative effect on a child, parents, and other members of a household. Children with autism seem to experience sleep disturbances more often and intensely than average children. A child's sleep issues may rapidly become a daily challenge for parents.There are several factors to address when establishing a plan to reinforce a positive sleep pattern.


Sleep disturbances may be a side-effect of medications a person takes and need to be taken into consideration as well.Autism and Sleep DisordersSleep disorders that affect people in the general population should also be ruled out for children with autism. It is a disorder in which a person experiences pauses in their breathing when their airway becomes obstructed as they sleep. Upper respiratory illness or allergies might also contribute to the development of sleep apnea. Both of these are often referred to as, 'parasomnias.' Parasomnias are disorders of partial arousal that lead to unusual behaviors during sleep. A consultation and assessment with an occupational therapist trained in sensory integration might be important to assess arousal and relaxation troubles and to assist with designing strategies that approach these issues.After potential medical issues have been addressed, other factors contributing to sleep issues should be considered. Additional issues to consider include bedtime routines, environmental variables and the use of a sleep training method.Autism, Sleep and Environmental VariablesFollowing examination of your child's sleep environment more closely, there might be some modifications and adaptations to make to help your child relax at bedtime. Assess the temperature of their room, sleep clothing and bedding to decide what combination is best for your child. Remember what temperature your child appears to prefer and desire during the day and consider it as you make decisions.Take into consideration tactile sensitivities that might be affecting your child's ability to sleep. Some children with autism might prefer dark places during the daytime, but that is different from them being expected to sleep in a large room in a bed at night while it is dark. The moon, streetlights, or car headlights shining into the room at intervals might be affecting your child's ability to sleep.


Providing a room that is consistently dark or light might be important depending upon your child's specific needs.Children with Autism and Bedtime RoutinesBedtime routines are important for most children where establishing positive sleep patterns are concerned, but are crucial for children with autism. For increased structure and understanding, a visual bedtime schedule can help.A good bedtime routine will help teach a child to calm down, relax, and then get ready to sleep. If your child is away from home for a night or two, you might see old sleeping patterns re-emerge.
Basically, after the bedtime routine is over and your child is in their bed, leave the room without long and drawn out words or continued attempts to touch your child in any way.If your child is upset and clearly not sleeping, wait a few minutes and then return to their room to check on them. A gate or barrier may be needed at the bedroom door to remind your child that it is bedtime and they are expected to stay in their room.If your child is older and has never consistently slept though the night, you might be completely sleep deprived yourself.
It may not be easy to find a knowledgeable professional, but you might begin by asking other parents who may know a professional that has helped them in the past.If your child seems to regress in their sleeping habits, you might need to consult with professionals.
At times if other medical issues are ruled out, a temporary trial of medication may help in turning around poor sleep patterns and working to establish bedtime routines that work for your child.



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