Cognitive Behavior Therapy Could Help Autistic Kids Get Enough Sleep

According to a study out of the University of Missouri Health, some experts believe that a family-based cognitive behavioral therapy may be the key for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have problems sleeping. The short-term therapy focuses on changing how a person thinks about and reacts to specific situations. It has been used for decades and has been proven effective for treating a number of problems including insomnia. The therapist, the patient and the family dissect the time surrounding sleep analyzing a diary to understand what is causing the disruption.

“Sleep problems for any child, but especially children with ASD, may cause issues in behavior and mood as well as impact learning abilities,” said one researcher. “In treating insomnia and other behavioral sleep issues, I have found that there is no substitute for cognitive behavioral therapy; yet, it is still unclear how to best use such therapy for children with ASD who struggle with communication.”

To better understand this and eventually help autistic children sleep better the researchers are conducting sleep treatment studies through the Research Core at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

The researcher suggests looking to potential sleep problems if your autistic child his having problems at home or at school.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review ( and NaturalPath (, has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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