Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Treatment of sleep disturbances in young children with autism  

Autism spectrum disorders (Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger Disorder) are severe developmental disorders of early childhood onset affecting as many as 1 in 110 children. They are characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive behavior and restricted interests. While not a core feature of autism, it is widely accepted that a large percentage children with ASD present with significant sleep issues. Sleep problems in typically developing children are known to adversely impact daytime functioning, learning acquisition, as well as parenting and family functioning. For young children with autism whose development is already compromised by a range of deficits, the detrimental impact of sleep disturbances may be even more significant. However, the impact of sleep disturbances on optimal performance in behavioral and education interventions has not been systematically explored. In this pilot project, researchers will conduct a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of a behavioral parent training program for sleep disturbance in young children with autism compared to a parent education program. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 years diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder who also have significant sleep disturbance will be recruited for this 2 month study. This study represents a low cost and rapid clinical approach to sleep problems in this younger age group. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $225,877.00
Current Award Period 2010-2012
Project Number 1R34MH082882-01A2
Principal Investigator Johnson, Cynthia
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Behavioral
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4SH. Support at least two studies that focus on research on health promotion and prevention of secondary conditions in people with ASD by 2012. Secondary conditions of interest include weight issues and obesity, injury, and co-occurring psychiatric and medical conditions. IACC Recommended Budget: $5,000,000 over 3 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Pittsburgh
State/Country Pennsylvania
Web Link 1 Treatment of sleep disturbances in young children with autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.