Autism Research: Sleep Disruption as a Correlate to Cognitive and Adaptive Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disordersby Ultimate Autism Guide, ultimateautismguide.com
June 30th 2012
Autism and Sleep Problems Research:
Previous research has established that sleep problems are common in children with autism. However, limited research has been conducted to determine the impact that sleep disturbances have on day-time cognitive and adaptive performance. A study was conducted to determine the relationship between sleep problems and cognitive and adaptive performance during the day. The findings were published in an article titled Sleep Disruption as a Correlate to Cognitive and Adaptive Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The study included 335 children diagnosed with autism or PDD-NOS. The children were between the ages of 1 and 10 years old. The Behavioral Evaluation of Disorders of Sleep (BEDS) was utilized to measure sleep disturbances. BEDS scores and adaptive behavior and intelligences measures were then compared.
The researched demonstrated that children with autism who slept fewer hours per night also scored lower in the following areas:
- Daily Living Skills
- Motor Development
- Overall Adaptive Functioning
- Socialization Skills
- Verbal Skills
The results also showed that communication problems were associated with sleeping fewer hours at night combined with waking up during the night. The researchers also found a relationship between sleep disturbances due to breathing problems and difficulties with perceptual tasks.
The authors suggest that the study results show that quality of sleep may impact adaptive and cognitive functioning during the day. They state that sleep duration may play an important role in day-time functioning. However, they also state that more research must be conducted to better understand the impact of sleep disturbances on day-time functioning.
Taylor, Matthew. “Sleep Disruption as a Correlate to Cognitive and Adaptive Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Research in Developmental Disabilities 33.5 (2012): 1408-1417.
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