Sleep problems in children—including sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring and apnea—contribute to speech and language difficulties. Such problems are common among children with social communication difficulties such as autism. This makes speech-language pathologists (SLPs) an untapped but well-positioned group of clinicians who can screen children for sleep disorders.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System researchers led by Karen Bonuck, Ph.D., trained SLPs at the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center to administer two short pediatric sleep questionnaires, and the SLPs were later asked about their experiences. As reported in Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, published online on August 4,the SLPs reported that children with developmental disabilities did have a high rate of sleep problems based on results from the pediatric sleep questionnaires, and the SLPs endorsed integrating the screens into their clinical practice. The authors conclude that asking SLPs to screen clients for sleep problems can help broaden surveillance efforts for such problems.
Dr. Bonuck is professor of family and social medicine and of pediatrics at Einstein and co-director of the Rose F. Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Einstein-Montefiore.
Posted on: Thursday, September 02, 2021