Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Sleep Patterns in Children with DCD

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  • Anna has been working on this project with Luci Wiggs, an expert on sleep problems in children with developmental disorders. Previous research has shown a higher rate of sleep disorders in children with a range of developmental disorders including ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders in comparison to the general population. However, little is known about sleep behaviour in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

    Study 1. This is now published: Barnett, A.L. & Wiggs, L. (2011). Sleep behaviour in children with developmental co-ordination disorder. Child: care, health and development. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01260.x.

    We asked parents to complete the Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire and found that the total sleep disturbance score was significantly higher for children with DCD compared to a typically developing control group. Sub-scale scores indicated particular problems with certain aspects of behaviour including bedtime resistance, sleep anxiety and daytime sleepiness. However, there were no differences between the groups for sleep onset delay, sleep duration and night wakings. These preliminary results suggest that sleep patterns of children with DCD may be of clinical relevance and are worthy of further investigation.

    Study 2. Our current study is funded by The Waterloo Foundation. This is a follow up to our previous study, using more objective measures of sleep and broader assessments of child and parent functioning. We presented the preliminary findings at the 11th International Conference on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) in Toulouse, France in July 2015.