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Sleep habits in children affected by autism spectrum disorders: A preliminary case-control study

  • Autori: Precenzano, F.; Ruberto, M.; Parisi, L.; Salerno, M.; Maltese, A.; Verde, D.; Tripi, G.; Romano, P.; DI FOLCO, A.; DI FILIPPO, T.; Messina, G.; Roccella, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)


Introduction: The core of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) consists of alterations of neurological functions that affect the typical developmental trajectory leading to deficits in social interaction and non-verbal behaviors. In general, ASD is diagnosed at age three and many other frequent neurological signs may be present, such as sleep disorders. The aim of study is evaluating sleep habits in a sample of ASD children. Material and methods: The study population consists of 65 ASD children (43 males and 22 females), aged between 2 and 11 years (mean 5.73 ± 2.39 years). The control group consists of 114 children with typical development (68 males and 46 females), aged between 3 and 10 years (mean 5.91 ± 2.23 years). The diagnosis of ASD was confirmed by the evaluation ADOS -2, while the evaluation of sleep habits with the SDSC tests. Results: The two groups were matched for age (p = 0.633) and sex distribution (p = 0.483). The ASD subjects show a significantly higher rate of sleep disorders in all categories explored by SDSC tests (Table 1). Discussion: The sleep of people with ASD is compromised at any age and regardless of the severity of social impairment and communication, but not the level of development. Still, ASD is a very important risk factor for the development of sleep disorders, although the report could also be interpreted in the opposite manner.