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Sleep Patterns in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Authored by Johnson, KP, Giannotti F., and Cortesi F. in Child Adolesc Psychiatric Clin N Am., Volume 18, Issue 4, p. 917-928, (2009).

Article summary (posted Feb 23, 2010):

Source: http://autism.healingthresholds.com

Behavioral therapy and melatonin may both be helpful children with autism who have sleep problems.

This review article describes the sleep problems that are common in children with autism. The first line treatment in children with autism is to improve sleep hygiene. After that, behavioral treatment such as teaching new sleep behavior in small steps may be helpful. While there are no drugs approved for the treatment of sleep problems in children, the supplement melatonin may be helpful. Some scientists believe that melatonin therapy helps because children with autism do not make enough melatonin on their own.


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