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Children With Mental Disabilities Losing Sleep

Most parents have all had a few sleepless nights, but imagine if your child continued to struggle with their sleeping patterns well into their teens.

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun chronicled an interesting problem with families with children affected by mental disabilities. The article claimed that 75% of children suffering from mental disabilities and or developmental disorders have difficulty sleeping. Their lack of rest often promotes difficult behaviour. It also puts increased stress on the parents.

This past week, experts from around the globe met at the University of British Columbia to discuss the issue. The conference included three days of workshops where sleep specialists, doctors and behavioural specialists pooled their ideas on how to properly deal with the issues around sleep depravity in mentally disabled children.

For propers treatment, some experts are recommending families ask their local doctor for a referral for an accurate sleep assessment.

Doctors are also warning parents that some sleep medications might not be appropriate for children suffering from mental disabilities. The genetic make-up of one child might be responsive to certain medications, but for another child, even one suffering from the same disability, the medication could be harmful to their development.

Hopefully the conference will reveal new insight into this pattern of sleep loss.

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