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AN ONLINE BEHAVIOURAL TREATMENT FOR PEDIATRIC SLEEP ISSUES IN CHILDREN WITH NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

10/11/2021
Shelly-Ann McMorris

Up to 90% of Canadian children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) experience insomnia symptoms including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or waking too early. Insomnia can have a significant impact on children’s daytime functioning. Poor sleep can lead to increased challenges with learning, attention, and can contribute to increased symptom presentation in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Evidence supports the effectiveness of behavioural treatments for insomnia. However, these interventions are not often available to families of children with NDDs.  Developed by Dr. Penny Corkum (Dalhousie University; IWK Health Centre), Dr. Shelly Weiss (University of Toronto; SickKids), and their colleagues at institutions across Canada, the online sleep intervention program, Better Nights, Better Days for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (BNBD-NDD), offers a potential solution to address this barrier to care. BNBD-NDD is an evidence-based, transdiagnostic online program for parents with children ages 4-12 years old with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy (CP), and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) that experience insomnia.

As families begin the new school year, a good night’s sleep is especially important. The BNBD-NDD program can help parents help their children to sleep better so that they can achieve the best academic outcomes.

Dr. Corkum, Dr. Weiss, and the BNBD-NDD research team are currently looking for 150 families of children with ADHD, ASD, CP and/or FASD from across Canada to participate in this entirely online and paid research study to evaluate the effectiveness of BNBD-NDD.  Interested participants can get started at the following link: http://ndd.betternightsbetterdays.ca/

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