First thing to know is, what is Asperger’s disease? Before you try to treat a sleep disorder, or associate it with having Asperger’s, make sure you know that the child experiencing sleep issues actually has Asperger’s disease.
This disease is a neurological condition belonging to autism spectrum disorders. Most common effects are those relating to motor skills. They will be uncoordinated, and will have difficulty doing things that comes natural to most children.
Such as jumping, running, climbing, and riding a bike. But it is important to recognize the difference between this condition, and what is considered to be autism. Although sometimes confused with autism, there is one key difference, and that is in communication skills.
Those diagnosed with autism usually have problems with both verbal and nonverbal communication. On the other hand, those with asperger’ disease actually achieve a high level of communication, and speak very well.
The problem is, they tend to be very narrowly focused on a singular subject. They will talk obsessively about their interest and little else. They will actually excel in the knowledge of the subject that is consuming them to the point of becoming an expert.
Unfortunately, anything someone else might want to talk about, takes a back seat to his or her interest. This makes it difficult for them to interact with others who would normally want to talk about a wider area of interests.
Some other symptoms to watch for are, limited social skills, problems expressing themselves in a nonverbal manner, routines they can’t break away from that they will continue to repeat, and problems relating to their peers.
There is a better than average chance that if a person has asperger’s disease they probably suffer from a sleep disorder, more commonly insomnia. Children with asperger’s disease usually have a problem with initiating sleep, and the continuity of sleep.
This is do-to the neuropsychiatric deficit that is inherent of asperger’s. Of course this will more than likely carry into adulthood. If the individual is loosing sleep, then other problems will start to arise.
Daytime fatigue, loss of appetite, and possible depression are a few of those problems. All of these things should be taken into consideration when planning a course of action that should include medical help.
There have been sleep studies done with adults that have asperger’s syndrome. In those cases, sleep diaries were used to document all sleep habits. Included were times the participants fell asleep, length of time they slept, how often the woke, naps during the day, along with what their eating, drinking, and smoking habits were.
In the end regardless of each persons own personal habits 18 out 20 people had insomnia. So there does appear to be a correlation between having asperger’s syndrome, and suffering from a sleep disorder.
Of course always speak with a medical professional before trying to treat anything on your own. In this case you have two disorders to treat. First you need to take care of the asperger’s disease, which could be causing the anxiety that leads to the insomnia.
You don’t want to start taking, or giving medication to someone for an issue that might lead to more problems down the road. Consult your doctor, get the best medical advice you can, and be safe.