Sensory processing and Executive functioning Neuropsychological impact on Sleep Efficiency (SENSE) Study

What's the study about?

This study aims to examine developmental trajectories of sleep disturbances in autistic youth with ASD ages 3-21 years and its impact on neuropsychological and behavioral outcomes, especially within the sensory processing and executive functioning domains. Participation involves behavioral assessments, questionnaires, and objective measurement of sleep quality using actigraphy for a limited period of time. This study is currently funded by Autism Speaks..

Who can participate?

  • Autistic children and adolescents ages 3-21
  • Must be able to wear sleep watch on wrist for 14 consecutive nights

What will participants be doing?

As part of the study, youth complete some paper and pencil and computerized tasks and parents will fill out some questionnaires about their socio-emotional functioning. This visit will last 2-4 hours. At the end of this initial visit, your child will be given an actigraphy monitor to wear during nightly sleep for a period of 14 days to monitor sleep quality. Additionally, you will be required to fill out a daily diary that asks about when your child went to bed, when they woke up, and additional questions about sleep and behavior. At the end of this 14-day period, you will send back the actigraphy monitor via mail, in a pre-paid and pre-stamped envelope that will be given to you at our initial visit.

Why is this important?

The goal of this project is to understand the relationship between sleep disturbances and cognitive and behavioral outcomes in autistic youth and schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) youth compared to neurotypical peers.