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Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Treatment

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Behavioral Sleep Intervention for Insomnia in Children with Neurodevelopmental Issues

Author(s): Lucy Warrens

Sleep issues, particularly insomnia, are common in children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). It is still unknown whether behavioural sleep therapies designed for normally developing (TD) children are beneficial for children with NDD, or whether interventions must be tailored to each diagnostic category. The goal of this systematic review was to find commonalities, trends in outcomes, and the methodological quality of parent-delivered behavioural sleep interventions for children with NDD, specifically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Nine datasets were combed through. A total of 40 studies met the criteria for inclusion. The majority of the research was done on people with ASD and ADHD. The NDD populations had a lot of sleep difficulties in common. Bedtime resistance, night waking, early morning awakening, and co-sleeping were the most commonly mentioned. Implementing appropriate sleep habits, reinforcing, graded extinction, and fading bedtime were the most common strategies. At least one behavioural treatment component was found to be beneficial in all investigations. The viability of establishing a transdiagnostic behavioural sleep intervention suitable for children with a variety of NDD, as well as the TD population, is suggested by similarities in both sleep difficulties reported and behavioural therapies adopted across NDD and TD populations.


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