The nature of sleep difficulties in adults with autism

Woman not sleeping

By Emma Baker, PhD Candidate

(Supervisor: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale)

There is an abundance of literature that shows children on the autism spectrum experience a significantly high rate of sleep problems, primarily insomnia symptoms, in comparison to children generally and children with other developmental disorders. However, there is much less research that has assessed sleep problems in adults on the spectrum. Our knowledge of the causes of sleep problems in ASD is also very limited. Therefore, my PhD research aimed to explore the types of sleep problems experienced by adults with autism as well as exploring their potential causes. Thirty-six adults with a diagnosis of ASD and no intellectual impairment (21-44 years) and a comparison group of 54 neurotypical (NT) adults (22 to 43 years) took part in my study. While no-one in the comparison group had a diagnosed mental health problem 15 adults on the spectrum were medicated for a comorbid diagnosis of anxiety/depression. Participants completed various sleep questionnaires, a 14-day sleep-wake diary, 14-day actigraphy assessment (objectively measures sleep) and provided seven saliva samples. Continue reading

Ask a researcher – ABA and wellbeing in adults

Has any research been done regarding wellbeing and self-esteem (preferably self-reported rather than objective) in teens and adults who received ABA or similar?

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Director’s Report – September 2016

Lachlan Burnside (OTARC), Mike Burnside (Salesforce), Melinda Denham (OTARC), Prof Cheryl Dissanayake (OTARC) and Dr Josephine Barbaro (OTARC)

We were thrilled that ASDetect won both the Victorian state iAward and the National iAward for Research and Development Project of the Year, from a field of over 600 entrants. And we weren’t the only autism project honoured: 11 year old Hamish Finlayson won the Junior Students category with his app, Triple T: ASD and me. Pictured above: Lachlan Burnside (OTARC), Mike Burnside (Salesforce), Melinda Denham (OTARC), Prof Cheryl Dissanayake (OTARC) and Dr Josephine Barbaro (OTARC).

Welcome to the Spring edition of Another Piece!

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OTARC Events – Grandparent Morning & Research Focus Afternoon 2016

9 September

OTARC hosted two events as part of our commitment to disseminate our research findings to the community. These sessions are held every two years and consist of research presentations and lengthy Q&A opportunities.

Grandparents send well wishes to Mrs Olga Tennison.

Grandparents send well wishes to Mrs Olga Tennison.

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