Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight. Autistic learners can experience significant difficulties with sleeping. This will be exhausting for them and their families and can impact on their time at school if they are very tired. Practitioners and families should be communicating with each other about any concerns.
It is estimated that sleep disorders may be even more common for autistic learners than for their peers. Researchers estimate that between 40% and 80% of them have difficulty sleeping.
Sleep Scotland highlighted that sleeping problems experienced by autistic learners fall into 3 main categories:
- Not wanting to be in their own bed
- Trouble settling.
It can be helpful for parents and families to share any sensory perception issues their child has regarding their sleeping patterns.
- Let families know they can communicate with the school if their child experiences any sleep difficulties
- Ensure the autistic learners teachers are aware this is a difficulty and may impact on their learning: it can be included in learner's profile
- Is there a quiet space where the learner can rest?
- 'Sleep Scotland' have information which may help the family and their child.