Good Sleep Habits for Children with Autism

sleep habitsPoor sleep habits are not uncommon in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and for some of these children sleep difficulties can persist into adolescence.

Fortunately, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can help the child to improve those habits, which in turn makes the parents’ lives easier because having a child that never sleeps well is very disruptive for the whole family. Here are some issues that we address with children that are in our program:

  1. Difficulty initiating sleep.
  2. Difficulty maintaining sleep.
  3. Difficulty waking the child in the morning.
  4. Irritability and sleepiness during the day.

It’s clear that sleep, in general, is important for the brain development in a child. And the irony here is that children with ASD probably need more sleep than the average child because autistic children expend an enormous amount of energy with their ritualistic and repetitive behaviors. So, it’s essential for the child’s health to figure out how to improve the child’s sleep habits for both the benefit of the child and the sanity of everyone else.

With the help of ABA, we can give you tools to help improve your child’s nightly sleep. We can teach you the value of a routine, the importance of soothing behaviors in the evening, what types of play will help “wind down” your child, and methods to get the child to go back to sleep and respect the sleep of everyone else.

Once you establish a healthy pattern for bedtime, not only will the child’s nighttime behavior improve, but the daytime behavior will likely improve as well because the child is not exhausted anymore on a daily basis. We can work together to make significant improvements in your child’s sleep habits.

Applied Behavior Analysis helps to extinguish undesirable behaviors and reinforce desirable ones. ABA can improve your child’s toileting behaviors, eating behaviors, speech, and sleeping routines. ABA can be life changing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you are trying to decide how to handle a child with ASD or what type of therapy is most appropriate for your child, please contact us today.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

The ABC’s of Behavior

The ABC's of BehaviorAutism itself does not cause challenging behaviors. It is likely, however, that some of the underlying biological processes that result in autism might also result in behaviors that are outside of a person’s control. Also, some behavioral responses are simply reflexes—no more of a choice for your child than when your leg jerks upward when the doctor uses his hammer on your kneecap.

n the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, the three components that are documented and considered in looking at a specific behavioral episode is called A-B-C (antecedent-behavior-consequence) analysis, and include the following components:

■ a clear description of the behavior (behavior)

■ the situation, events and conditions that occurred before the behavior began (antecedent)

■ the situation and events that immediately followed the behavior (consequence)

Shifting our thinking from how a particular behavior affects us (and the siblings, the classmates, the furniture, etc.) to what might be happening from the individual’s perspective is an essential step in finding ways to understand behavior. Understanding the behavior will allow you to support the replacement of disturbing or maladaptive behaviors with functional skills.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.