Sleep Disorders and Autism

Dr. Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist, discusses Sleep Disorders and Autism

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Dr. Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist, discusses Sleep Disorders and Autism
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist
Sleep Disorders and Autism
Duration: 1 minute, 56 seconds

Children with neuro-developmental disorders such as autism have significant problems with sleep.  

Why do they have problems with sleep? It's probably because they don't develop a good circadian rhythm, a really good simple way for physicians and psychologists to decide if it's a sleep problem is to use a short questionnaire called the BEARS, B – E – A –R – S.  

And what we assess is the bedtime routine, that's the "B." "E" stands for where the child has excessive daytime sleepiness. "A" where the child has repeated night awakenings, they wake up during the night, don’t go back to sleep. "R" is for sleep regularity and duration. And "S" is for snoring.  

And the reason it's broken down in that way is because each of those letters stands for a component of sleep that may need to be addressed in a different way.  

Sleep problems are really important. If a child doesn’t sleep, they are grumpy the next day, they're irritable, they're more likely to be hyperactive and the families, the parents, are more likely to be the same because if the child doesn't sleep, the parent doesn't sleep.  

So treating sleep is one of those easy things to do for a physician that can make such a big difference in this child's life and the quality of life for the family. It's just like a pleasure to do.

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Presenter: Dr. Robin Friedlander, Psychiatrist, Burnaby, BC

Local Practitioners: Psychiatrist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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