Assessment and Treatment of Sleep


Establishing nighttime habits and routines are key to good sleep and comes with many benefits for the entire family. This presentation focuses on evidence-based assessment and treatment of sleep, and is applicable to anyone across the lifespan. Adapted from the work of Dr. Greg Hanley (BCBA-D), we will share strategies which support the development of a good sleep routine.

Course Description

Good quality sleep is important not only for children but for parents as well. Good sleep has a variety of benefits including positive health outcomes, decreased stress and irritability for both the child and the caregiver. This presentation focuses on the assessment and treatment of sleep. We will explore the definition and importance of good sleep, looking at sleep interfering behaviours and factors contributing to poor sleep and share strategies for parents to implement sleep treatment.

Many times, we attribute poor sleep to an underlying medical concern, although in some instances this may be a contributing factor, in other situations sleep is a skill deficit. It is always recommended to consult a medical physician to rule out any underlying medical concerns contributing to poor sleep. After ruling out medical concerns contributing to poor sleep, sleep is viewed as a skill deficit through the lens of Applied Behaviour Analysis.

To teach the skill of sleep, it is important to create conditions in which sleep is valuable to a child. This presentation will walk you through what these optimal conditions are and how to achieve them. You will then hear a discussion from two clinicians, Sonia Stellato and Kensey Butkevich. In their discussion, they will highlight key points to consider when planning to work on sleep goals with your child.

The information shared is applicable to children, youth and adult autistics and those with other developmental diagnoses across the lifespan.

Participants will:

  • Learn to identify factors contributing to poor sleep patterns and sleep interfering behaviours
  • Learn strategies on how to create optimal sleep conditions
  • Identify an appropriate sleep treatment strategy to decrease sleep interfering behaviours

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