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Course and Predictors of Sleep and Co-occurring Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors
  • Mazurek, Micah O.1
  • Dovgan, Kristen2
  • Neumeyer, Ann M.3
  • Malow, Beth A.4
  • 1 University of Virginia, Department of Human Services, Curry School of Education & Human Development, 417 Emmet Street South, Charlottesville, VA, 22904, USA , Charlottesville (United States)
  • 2 Marist College, Department of Psychology, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA , Poughkeepsie (United States)
  • 3 Lurie Center for Autism, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Lexington, MA, USA , Lexington (United States)
  • 4 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Sleep Disorders Division, Department of Neurology, Nashville, TN, USA , Nashville (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 25, 2019
Volume
49
Issue
5
Pages
2101–2115
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-019-03894-5
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

The chronicity of sleep disturbance and its relation to co-occurring symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not well understood. The current study examined longitudinal relations among sleep and co-occurring symptoms in a large well-characterized sample of 437 children with ASD assessed at baseline and follow-up (M = 3.8 years later). Twenty-three percent experienced worsening sleep problems over time, while 31.5% showed improvement. Path analysis indicated that sleep problems at baseline predicted later development of ADHD symptoms in younger children and somatic complaints in older children. For younger children, sensory over-responsivity predicted future sleep problems. Findings suggest that sensory over-reactivity may contribute to sleep problems in some children with ASD, and that sleep problems may result in poor daytime functioning.

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