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Sleep Support

Children Drawings 1.jpg

What is Sleep Support?

Did you know that the latest research tells us that a whopping 80% of autistic children experience difficulties around sleep. Research also tells us that, unless addressed, these sleep disturbances will persist into adulthood for many autistic individuals. At present, the best-known strategy for tackling those bedtime struggles is behaviourally based, with a staggering efficacy of 94%.
You see, sleep, believe it or not, is a skill that can be taught, and thus, learned. We can learn to settle in bed well enough for the sandman to visit us. We can learn to sleep independently without mom or dad by our side. We can learn to roll over and go back to sleep instead of wandering out of the bedroom in search of mischief. Children who practice not sleeping become very good at it! It becomes a pattern, a bedtime habit, a night-time ritual. 


There are many practitioners out there who assist families of young children with issues surrounding sleep, but very few offer this service for families of children with autism. Sarah Murray is a paediatric board-certified behaviour analyst whose practice specialises in early intervention and behaviour support. Sleep support for families of children with additional needs is one of her niche areas. She recognises that sleep is a crucial foundation for early intervention and behaviour support. Sarah has presented on the topic of autism and sleeps both nationally and internationally.

(Reynolds et al. 2019), (Robinson-Shelton & Malow, 2016; Hodge et al., 2014), (Mindell et al., 2006)

Some of the most common sleep problems that Sarah can help you address are:

  • ​Difficulty falling asleep at night

  • Frequently waking up during the night

  • Early morning wakings

  • Reliance on parents to be present in order to fall asleep

  • Bedtime tantrums and upset

  • Bedtime refusal or refusing aspects of the bedtime routine

  • Avoidance of sleeping in their own bed

  • Unhealthy sleep associations (e.g. foot massages, dummy etc.).


Sarah Murray with a notebook
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