Barriers and Facilitators to Treating Insomnia in Children with Autism, Other DDs

Parents and Professionals Report Significant Challenges

Insomnia is highly prevalent in children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), yet little research exists on sleep treatment access, utilization, and provision in these groups. Canadian researchers conducted focus groups and interviews with parents and professionals regarding knowledge and interventions for sleep disorders among children with an NDD. The disorders included autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. They found that parents experience barriers to access and implementation of potential treatments, and healthcare providers lack sufficient training and knowledge. Increased awareness about sleep and interventions in NDDs is needed. Findings were similar across all four NDDs studied, so a transdiagnostic approach to sleep treatment holds potential.

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