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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The aims of this chapter are to present the state of the science of sleep in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including hypotheses for the high prevalence of chronic insomnia, possible etiologies of insomnia, and ecological and behavioral interventions for promoting optimal sleep. About two thirds of children with ASD have chronic insomnia, and these sleep problems have been shown to persist. The strongest evidence on promoting sleep in individuals with ASD is for sleep education, ecological changes, behavioral interventions, and exogenous melatonin. In 2012, the Sleep Committee of the Autism Treatment Network developed a practice pathway, based on expert consensus, to capture best practices for screening, identification, and treatment of sleep problems in ASD. An exemplar case is presented to integrate key constructs of the practice pathway.

Keywords: autism, autism spectrum disorder, sleep, insomnia, hyperarousal, practice pathway, behavioral intervention, biological rhythms, melatonin, calming activities

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