Fast Five Quiz: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Stephen Soreff, MD


July 05, 2019

According to the AAP, all children who have ASD should be screened for insomnia by general pediatricians, family care providers, or autism medical specialists. The recommended method is a short series of questions targeting insomnia and a consultation with parents. These questions include whether the child falls asleep within 20 minutes, whether the child falls asleep in a parent's or sibling's bed, whether the child sleeps too little, and whether the child awakens at least once during the night.

The first line of treatment for insomnia in children with ASD should be educational and behavioral interventions, after excluding any medical contributors. However, if these interventions do not work, or if the insomnia is at a crisis point, pharmacologic treatment may be considered. Children with ASD may adapt well to bedtime routines, particularly if visual schedules are implemented. No medications are currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for pediatric insomnia.

Read more on insomnia.

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