Sleep problems among Taiwanese children with autism, their siblings and typically developing children

Miao Chun Chou, Wen Jiun Chou, Huey Ling Chiang, Yu Yu Wu, Ju Chin Lee, Ching Ching Wong, Susan Shur Fen Gau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The current study compared the sleep schedules, sleep problems among children with autism, their siblings and typically developing children, and to explore other associated factors with sleep problems. We conducted a case-control study consisting 110 children with autistic disorder, 125 unaffected siblings, and 110 age-, sex-, and parental education-matched typically developing children, aged 4-13 years old. We conducted psychiatric interviews to obtain DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder and confirmed by the Chinese Version of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised. The mothers were asked to report on the self-administered questionnaires regarding sleep schedules and problems of their children and parenting styles. Our results showed that children with autism had more sleep problems, including early insomnia, middle insomnia, sleep-wake schedule disorders and daytime napping. Their unaffected siblings also had more risk of early insomnia, sleep-talking and nightmares, compared to the typically developing children in non-autistic family. We also found an association between bring-up experience and nightmare, and between maternal overprotection and middle insomnia and sleep-wake schedule disorder. The findings of increased risks for sleep problems in both children with autism and their unaffected sibling suggest that parenting counseling should be included in intervention of sleep problems in children with autism and their siblings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-672
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Autistic disorder
  • Children
  • Parenting style
  • Sleep problems
  • Sleep schedules
  • Unaffected sibling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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