Sleep in high-functioning children with autism: longitudinal developmental change and associations with behavior problems

Tamara May, Kim Marie Cornish, Russell Conduit, Shanthakumar M W Rajaratnam, Nicole Joan Rinehart

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep disturbance is common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but longitudinal trajectories are poorly defined. This study measured sleep disturbance at baseline and 1 year later examining change over time and associated problem behaviors. Participants were 84 gender-matched children, aged between 7 and 12 years at baseline; 46 children were diagnosed with ASD, and 38 were typically developing (TYP) children. Parent reports on a range of scales were collected. The ASD group had more sleep disturbance than the TYP group. Sleep disturbance decreased over the year in children with ASD, but not in TYP children. Reduced sleep disturbance was associated with improved social ability. Sleep disturbance at baseline predicted later anxiety. Findings indicated different trajectories of sleep disturbance in ASD, and the implications are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2 - 18
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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