Sleep problems & Autism: like peanut butter and chocolate

Got Autism? Got Sleep Problems? For whatever reason, sleep problems seem rather common for children (and adults!) on the Autism Spectrum. At long last, a book has been published that is actually approachable, based in science, and helpful! Solving Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A guide for frazzled families by Terry Katz, PhD and Beth Malow, MD, MS is the book we have long awaited!

A series of studies demonstrated that Sleep Education for parents has been highly successful in solving sleep issues. This book carefully outlines the many sleep problems that children can have (from sleeping on sheets related to special interests, to sensory concerns, anxiety, seizures, restless legs, and sleep apnea!) and guides parents to solving the problems. Written in a comforting way (Hey, you made the best choices you could at the time, but could you maybe, perhaps, consider trying this tiny intervention that might get you a full night’s sleep?), this book never judges, only educates.

Of particular note, these authors understand ASD! They acknowledge that for some children, brushing teeth or washing hair is a sensory nightmare, and best avoided just prior to bed. They observe that some children struggle to understand or share their experiences, and struggle with anxiety that interferes with sleep. They even discuss the impact of (gasp!) caffeine, screen time, and exercise!

On the one hand, this book is fantastic if you are parenting a child on the spectrum. On the other hand, this book is perfect if you or a loved one struggle with sleep, on or off the spectrum. I learned a number of handy little facts that will be applied at my house, starting tonight! (Of note, alcohol was not addressed, because the book is about children; but suppose you are an adult who drinks alcohol and then struggles to sleep…maybe, perhaps, consider a tiny little experiment of not drinking on occasion – which I understand you are doing because of your stress level – and see if that helps you to sleep.)

See you in the morning, well rested and ready to greet the day!

Got ASD and Sleep Problems?  Contact me, and I’ll help you sleep through the night!



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