PI: Kevin Luczynski, PhD
Project Title: Evaluation of the Combined Efficacy of Melatonin and Faded Bedtime with Response Cost to Treat Sleep Disturbances in Children with ASD
Grant Agency: UNMC
Sleep disorders are prevalent among children with ASDs, with estimates of prevalence ranging from 44% to 83% (Patzold, Richdale, & Tonge, 1998; Richdale & Prior, 1995), thus sleep disturbance is much more common in children with ASDs than in typically developing children (Richdale & Schreck, 2009).
Specific aim (a): Demonstrate the additive and interactional effects of two empirically validated interventions for sleep disturbances in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD): faded bedtime with response cost (FBRC) and melatonin.
Hypotheses: (a1) The FBRC treatment will significantly reduce hours of disturbed sleep relative to baseline levels; (a2) the melatonin treatment will significantly reduce hours of disturbed sleep relative to baseline levels; and (a3) the combined treatment will reduce hours of disturbed sleep more than either treatment alone.
Specific aim (b): Compare the accuracy, efficiency, and sensitivity to changes in the dependent variable of two commonly used sleep measurement systems (parent diaries and actigraphy) and one novel sleep measurement system (video clips obtained from nighttime motion-detection software) to data collected based on direct and continuous measurement of whole-night video recordings. Results will inform the measurement system that will be used in a subsequent grant application to NIH for a large-scale randomized clinical trial.
Hypothesis: Of the measurement systems being compared, data collected from video clips obtained from nighttime motion-detection software will represent the most acceptable balance between accuracy, efficiency, and sensitivity. Additional advantages, such as the ability to obtain measures of procedural integrity, will also be evaluated.
Specific aim (c): Assess the extent to which effective sleep treatment will reduce stress among families raising a child with an ASD based on self-reported stress levels on both the Child Domain and Parent Domain subscales of the Parenting Stress Index (Abidlin, 1995).
Hypothesis: Effective treatment of aberrant sleep patterns in children with ASDs will produce collateral benefits in the form of decreased parental stress levels, as indicted by the improvements on the subscales of the Parenting Stress Index.