Sleep Issues in Autism

A Collaborative Forum Organised by Research Autism on 25th April 2006

This forum on sleep issues in autism took place on at the London South Bank University and was chaired by Professor Patricia Howlin and Professor Chris Cullen.

Speakers included:

  • Ms. Jacqui Jackson
  • Jeremy Turk: Rational and irrational prescribing for sleep difficulties in children with autistic spectrum disorders
  • Dr. Paul Gringras, Consultant in Paediatric Neurodisability, Director Paediatric Sleep Clinic, Paediatric Neurosciences, Guys and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust: Melatonin use in Childhood Autism
  • Dr. Luci Wiggs, Department of Psychology, Oxford Brookes University. Behavioural approaches to sleeplessness.

New Research

A number of important areas for research on sleep issues were identified at this event. These included issues for families, behavioural interventions, medication (including melatonin and prescribing protocols), effects of services (including respite), genetic factors and sensory issues. A follow up meeting with researchers scoped specific projects for progression as follows.

  • Effects of melatonin on sleep problems in autism. We are very pleased that, as a direct result of the forum and Research Autism's follow up, a consortium of leading universities and centres of clinical excellence will be taking this forward and have obtained the necessary funding.
  • Two further projects, on respite care and on a sleep database, are currently being developed.

We are most grateful to BUPA for their sponsorship of this event and to the London South Bank University for donating their facilities. We are also grateful to all participants. Their contributions to the day, both by way of the on line survey and at the event itself, are extremely important to us as we progress research in this important area

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25 Oct 2017