Objectives: The purpose of the current study is to determine the effects of sleep problems on communication ability in children with ASD.
Methods: Participants were included if they have an Autism Spectrum diagnosis (based on ADOS, ADI-R, and clinical opinion), were given a language ability test (PLS-3 or PLS-4), and exhibit sleep problems per parent report. For comparison purposes, children with an ASD diagnosis and no reported sleep problems were also included. Communication scores were compared between those children with ASD with reported sleep problems and those without.
Results: Preliminary data was analyzed using a Factorial ANOVA with sleep problems and diagnosis as independent variables. During preliminary analyses, no significance was found between individuals with reported sleep problems (N= 5) and individuals without (N = 18), F(1, 18)=1.505, p = 0.236. However, results indicate a trend towards significance. Evaluations are ongoing to further clarify these relations.
Conclusions: Children with deficits in communication skills, particularly receptive language skills, may encounter problems understanding daily routines and social cues which could lead to inconsistent sleep patterns. Clarifying these relationships could ultimately lead to improved sleep quality among children with ASD.
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