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Bedroom access to screen-based media may contribute to sleep problems in boys with autism, MU researchers find
Date:11/19/2013

ionship between bedroom media access and sleep was particularly large among boys with autism, suggesting that we should continue to carefully research this possibility."

About one in 88 children are on the autism spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ASD is characterized by social and communication difficulties as well as repetitive behaviors. Sleep problems also are highly prevalent in children with autism and may have many different underlying causes. Media use may exacerbate some of these underlying problems, and appears to be an area for future research in helping to improve sleep outcomes for children with autism, Engelhardt said.

"It is also important to note that some media use may also be beneficial for children with autism," Engelhardt said. "Future research is also needed to determine how video games and other technologies may be helpful in teaching and reinforcing skills and behaviors."

The study, "Media Use and Sleep among Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or Typical Development," was published in Pediatrics. Study co-authors included Micah Mazurek, an assistant professor in the MU School of Health Professions and a clinical child psychologist at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Kristin Sohl, a pediatrician and the director of clinical services at the Thompson Center.


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Contact: Jesslyn Chew
ChewJ@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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