Tag Archives | asd

Countering snoring in children with Autism

It is not uncommon for toddlers and kids to experience trouble in enjoying an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Discomfort with the darkness, snoring, fear of dreams, and even the habits of sleep walking are deemed pretty routine affairs with children. However, if a child has had a history of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), any instances of troubled sleeping should never be ignored. These problems could well be taken as a measure of the ravages of ASD caused in the body. More importantly, by being conscious of the need to identify such uncommon sleep habits in children is the first step towards alleviating them, as it is certainly possible to do so, with just a few easy to understand and implement behavior strategies. Here, we try to understand the links between autism and sleeping troubles such as snoring, and also try to tell you more about the simple remedies for such situations.


Why children suffering from Autism are more prone to develop the habit of snoring?

There’s enough medical literature and research documentation to establish that children suffering from ASD are not great sleepers. Among the most common sleeping problems they exhibit are insomnia and sleep apnoea, which is primarily linked to snoring. Here are some of the causes that lead to these observations –

  • Children with ASD also suffer from problems such as throat infections, ear infections, and coughing. This leads them into sleeping with their mouths open, a natural reaction when clogged body airways necessitate more inhalation of air. This majorly leads to snoring in children diagnosed with autism.
  • Lack of communicative powers rendering children unable to tell their parents as to what they want to be able to sleep better, and unnatural emotional attachment to sleeping patterns which can get easily violated, are two lesser known yet correlated causes leading to disturbed sleep patterns, sleep apnea in general, and snoring in particular.
  • Anxiety is a serious deterrent for sleep in children being afflicted with ASD, which slowly but surely leads children into the habit of waking up a few minutes after falling asleep. This is known to worsen snoring in children.

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Snoring solutions to bless children with uninterrupted sleep

A child losing their sleep is certainly not a great sign, and needs to be set right at the earliest, as lack of proper sleep can lead to several health complications in the child. Here are some effective snoring solutions and tips that can help children sleep better.

  • Among the simplest anti-snoring aids is an elevated neck position for the child. Such a position prevents the tongue from falling back in the mouth, and hence prevents snoring.
  • Give a warm bath to the child before putting it off to sleep, so that the airways in the nostrils and throat get cleared up and snoring can be avoided.
  • Consider using anti-snoring devices such as masks and mouthguards, as there are several manufacturers that make child-safe anti-snoring devices.
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The dangers in trying to define the “face of Autism”

I’ve found over the years that the real trick in raising Autism awareness is in describing what it is to people. It’s such a diverse and complicated subject that we can find that we end up contradicting ourselves, confusing our listeners or worse, simplifying it (dumbing it down) so much that it really doesn’t do it any justice.

In my opinion, ‘spectrum’ isn’t nearly vast enough to explain all of what Autism can encompass… perhaps Autism Universe Disorder would have been more accurate. I actually read one time where some doctors said that “cloud” is more accurate than “spectrum” since it suggests a 3 dimensional range of possibilities.

Anyway, I digress…

The real problem with it being so varied is that for most of us, our own loved ones (usually children) are our point of reference. We watch the movies, read the books and do the research but the one we care about, right in front of us, is the true face of Autism in our world.

From there, we branch out to become supportive of each other, to share stories and advice and prove to be quite successful in that endeavour but ultimately we all eventually find that one person that sees Autism in a very different light than we do.

Whether we find our children to be amazing people with limitless potential or we see our children as being extremely low functioning victims of a life long paralysing disorder… we’ll find others out there that see Autism quite differently.

The real danger in this is that one will feel pity for the other, or resentment, or jealousy, or… well, you get the idea. A conflicting opinion of something of such epic importance in our lives can make for a very heated discussion if not handled with care.

To illustrate this point, I bring up a well known video that Autism Speaks once produced, where it tried to paint a picture of what Autism is.. giving it not just a face, but a rather eery voice:


Now, if you have a child that is doing well with Autism/Aspergers, or you have Autism/Aspergers yourself, you will likely be quite angered and even offended by that video. However, if you have a child that is severely low functioning due to Autism, there’s a good chance that it strikes an all too familiar chord with you.

The real tragedy in this video is that it ever tried to put a face on Autism in the first place.

The good news is that for some of us, myself included, hard work can actually help you go from agreeing with that video to not agreeing with that video as your child progresses… my son, Cameron, went from non-verbal at 2 years old to being one of the brightest and most social in his class at school.

You see, 3 years ago, I would have watched that video and understood quite well what they were attempting to do… but today, for me, this is the face of Autism that I see:


I do my utmost best to not offend people as I understand how hard it can be if your child is unable to talk to you or show that they love you but I can also understand if your child is memorizing Pi to 20,000+ places. It’s a very wide spectrum… a universe wide!

The next time someone asks you what Autism is, do your very best to explain it clearly, concisely and without bias. Not for my sake, but for your own as well as the people that might hear/read what you say.

Our children are not a victim of a scary voiced predator nor are they endowed with super powers making them superior to the rest of us. But they are somewhere in between… and it’s a pretty big space in there.

The face of Autism is as unique as the face of the person that you see it in.

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