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Helping Children With Autism Sleep Better

A child sleeping peacefully in bed

Written by: Amber Valentino

Tips For Helping Your Child With Autism Sleep

Sleep issues can be extremely difficult for children with autism and their families. If your child has trouble getting enough sleep, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can help. Depending on your child’s needs, it’s possible you’ll need a thorough assessment and treatment plan for the issue. However, there are a few simple environmental changes that may help your child fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling more rested.

Read More: Applied Behavior Assessments

Create A Quiet Environment

Create a serene environment by creating a calm, quiet space. If your child shares a room with a sibling, make sure their bedtimes are around the same time. If siblings have a later bedtime than your child with autism, practice coming into the room quietly. Pay attention to noise that can come through the walls, too. A white noise machine or fan may help drown out some sounds.

Block Out Light

Make sure your child’s room is completely dark. Put up blackout curtains to block out sunlight, especially in the summer months. Move charging electronics out of your child’s room to avoid them blinking during the night.

Moderate The Temperature

Make sure your child’s room is a comfortable temperature for sleeping. Most children prefer to sleep in rooms between 68-72° F. Help your child choose pajamas appropriate for the season so they won’t get too cold or hot during the night.

Create A Routine

Having a consistent daily routine will help signal to your child that it’s time to fall asleep. Every family’s routine will be different, but our experienced ABA therapists recommend:

  • Turning off electronics at least one hour before bedtime
  • Avoid exercising or active activities late in the day
  • Engage in relaxing activities together, like reading a book or giving your child a gentle massage
  • Try to have your child go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends

These simple changes to your child’s environment may be just what they need to get high-quality sleep. If you’ve tried these changes and your child is still experiencing sleep issues, talk with your ABA therapy team about next steps.

Trumpet’s experienced autism therapists are dedicated to helping your child reach their full potential. If your child is struggling with sleep or other challenging behaviors, contact us today to learn more about how we can support your family.

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