Center for Pediatric: Bedtime Habits

Kids Health The Newsletter About Taking Care Of The Ones That Matter Most

February, 2018

“Tackle The Beast Of Bedtime!” BEDTIME ROUTINE FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD?

The world is a big place. It’s an especially big place if you’re a child with special needs. Unclear expectations seem to pop up around every corner. The ever-changing pace can be dizzying and unsettling for anyone, much less a young person who struggles to keep up with day- to-day nuances. And then there’s bedtime. For many people with neurological differences, bedtime is its own beast. Shifting bedtimes impact children much the same as jet lag does. Yet sleep problems plague roughly 80 percent of children on the autism spectrum. Difficulty falling asleep, night waking, extendedmeltdowns, and hyperactivity are but a few of the challenges. For typically developing children, sleep deprivation can lead to learning problems and behavioral challenges. For children with special needs, the complications are multiplied: impaired cognitive abilities, diminished immune response, and mood changes become the norm.

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