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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Parents of children with a developmental disability more commonly report sleep problems than parents of typically developing children. These sleep problems include difficulties getting their child to bed, and that their child takes a long time to fall asleep, wakes frequently, and/or wakes for long periods during the night. These reports are generally supported by objective findings. Sleep-disordered breathing is more common in children with specific developmental disorders such as Down syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome, where craniofacial features associated with the disorder place them at high risk. Poor sleep in children with a developmental disability is generally associated with more severe daytime behavior difficulties, lower IQ, poorer adaptive behavior, compromised parent sleep, and increased parent stress, placing parents at risk for increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. Such sleep problems are likely to be multifactorial and are best viewed within a biopsychosocial context. Further research on the etiology, impact and intervention for sleep problems in children with a developmental disability is required.

Keywords: autism, sleep disorders, developmental disability, children, sleep

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