ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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Association between Sleep Disturbances and Sensory-over-responsivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Akansha Shah, Somini Mehta, Neelu Desai, Vrajesh udani

Last modified: 2018-09-09



Introduction: Historically, studies have suggested that there is an association between sensory processing difficulties and sleep disturbances in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD). However, not enough research has been done to understand the relationship. This study aims to examine the relationship between sleep disturbances and Sensory processing difficulties among children with ASD.

Methods: Parents of thirty nine children with ASD from the ages of 3-8 years (31 males and 8 females) enrolled at a tertiary care hospital in Mumbai answered the Children’s Sleep Habits questionnaire and the Short Sensory Profile.

Results: Bivariate analysis using Pearson’s correlations  between Sensory-over-responsivity (SOR) and Sleep problems suggested a significant relationship between the two variables (p<0.001).  There was a correlation of SOR with all sub groups of sleep disturbances i.e. Bedtime resistance, Sleep duration , Sleep anxiety, Night wakings, Parasomnias and Daytime sleepiness except Sleep disordered breathing and Sleep Onset Delay(p<.01 to p.001).

Conclusion: Children with ASD who have SOR might be predisposed to sleep problems. Interventions aimed at improving sensory processing difficulties might be an important intervention to help improve sleep quality and duration thus improving overall participation in functional activities through the day.


Sleep disturbance; sensory-over-responsivity; sensory processes; ASD; Autism Spectrum Disorder

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