Autism is a congenital and predominantly hereditary mental developmental disorder and can be divided into several diagnoses. People with autism typically experience challenges with communication, behaviour and being social. People with autism have different ways of communicating, interacting and learning than most other people.


Symptoms of autism
Autism is typically diagnosed in childhood, when you experience that the child deviates from the development pattern of his peers. The diagnosis is sometimes not made until adulthood.

Autism is also referred to as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Autism can be divided into the following diagnoses: Infantile autism, Asperger's Disease, Atypical Autism, PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) and NOS (Not Otherwise Specified).

One or two persons per thousand of the population have a diagnosis of infantile autism, and if you include the other autism diagnoses, you arrive at approximately one percent of the population. There are about four boys/men for every one girl/woman with the diagnosis.

There is no medical treatment to cure autism. Possible medical treatment only becomes relevant in the case of any subsequent psychological disturbances and complications such as ADHD, depression and severe externalising behaviour. In recent years, there has been a greater focus on individual psychotherapy.

People with autism have a high probability that sleep disturbances can become chronic, long-term or intermittent.

Autism and sleep problems
The latest research shows that most children with autism will have sleep problems. These are typically problems with falling asleep and frequent waking.

Sleep problems can be a major burden for children with autism and generally also affects the rest of the family.

If children with autism get too little sleep or sleep poorly, it can lead to reduced learning, poor concentration and can promote aggression, irritability, stress, anxiety and lead to depression. In addition, the children may experience increased restlessness in the body, be overweight, in addition to reduced body growth and immune defences.

A good sleep promotes well-being and health.

Autism and sleep glasses
An alternative solution, is to let the child with autism wear sleep glasses for approximately 90 minutes before bedtime. This can reduce the time the child spends falling asleep and can promote deep sleep.

It is important that the child is motivated to wear sleep glasses, and here you as parents can agree a reward with the child.

Research regarding autism

Below are a number of summaries/abstracts of scientific trials dealing with autism. The abstracts originate from medical records (copyright).