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Episode 052: Autism and Sleep Challenges with Emily Varon

So many of us have experienced challenges with sleep and children, whether from personal experience or professionally in the field. Emily Varon is a sleep expert who’s been working in ABA since 2000. Sleep has always been of interest to Emily with her own kids and she saw the opportunity to provide solutions for clients in her job as a practitioner. With the encouragement of her agency, she started taking additional coursework and began thinking beyond the typical extinction strategies used to correct sleep issues. Emily currently offers CEUs to companies, so everyone is speaking the same language when it comes to ABA and sleep behaviors.

There’s a direct correlation between sleep and behavior and sleep and skill acquisition. When you neglect to address problems with sleep, you won’t make any real behavioral progress. As practitioners, sometimes we don’t ask about sleep because we feel like it’s out of our scope. Depending on the client, extinction might not be the best solution, especially if the child is prone to self-injury or destructive behaviors. Emily shares some of the ways sleep problems develop and how to understand sleep in general. We also talk about co-sleeping and cultural differences, exposure to blue light from screens and sleep, and how to consult on sleep issues as ABA practitioners.

What’s Inside:

  • Using non-extinction-based programs for sleep.
  • How and when sleep problems develop.
  • Co-sleeping and cultural differences.
  • How to approach sleep issues as ABA practitioners.

Mentioned In This Episode:
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