Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and intellectual disabilities (ID) are common disorders and can contribute to a host of deficits and challenges for the impacted individual. Individuals diagnosed with these neurodevelopmental disorders typically experience a host of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social deficits. Complicating matters, persons diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders typically present with a host of co-occurring diagnoses and conditions, including sleep disturbances. In fact, individuals diagnosed with these disorders are disproportionately likely to suffer sleep disturbances relative to the general population. This elevated risk for sleep disturbances is likely influenced by a host of physiological (e.g., neurotransmitter dysregulation and circadian rhythm), behavioral (e.g., hyperactivity and sensory sensitivities), and other individual and general risk factors (e.g., trauma exposure, pain disorders and other health difficulties). Because sleep strongly influences the ability to evaluate and comprehend information, create and recall memories, and learn, disturbances in this basic human process can have harmful impacts on an individual’s temperament, behavior, and psychological functioning. Efforts to address this problem must begin with the screening and assessment for sleep disturbances in any person diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. With complete diagnostic information, awareness, and understanding of the interrelationship between neurodevelopmental disorders and sleep disturbances, mental health and medical care professionals can better develop treatment, intervention, case management, and family education plans to address sleep disturbances in this population. That said, the current body of research that examines sleep disturbances in persons diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders emphasizes the need for additional education and training in this complex area of study. Such trainings offer hope for improving short- and long-term outcomes (e.g., education, social, and family-level) for impacted individuals and their families.
This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:
a). Examine common neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD, autism, FASD, and Intellectual disability).
b). Develop a working knowledge of the behavioral, emotional, social, and physical health consequences associated with neurodevelopmental disorders and sleep disturbances.
c). Discuss screening options appropriate for clients diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder and sleep disturbances.
d). Learn about treatment and intervention options for clients diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder and sleep disturbances.
e). Acquire an understanding of the existing empirical research on neurodevelopmental disorders and sleep disturbances.
Mental Health Clinicians, Social Workers, Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Counselors, School Personnel, Youth Development Workers, and Healthcare Workers.
Instructional Level: Intermediate
Instructor(s): Jerrod Brown, PhD, MA, MS, MS, MS
Material Author(s): Jerrod Brown, PhD, MA, MS, MS, MS
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