Fields of Research

Good nights research image

Sleep disturbance affects children with developmental disabilities universally however, there are currently very few research teams internationally who are investigating treatments for sleep disturbance in children with developmental disabilities, or providing much needed clinical services. Our goal is for children and their families to experience the primary (sleep) and secondary (wellbeing) benefits of improved sleep and as a team, we aspire to inform future clinical practice in this area.

Our unique and innovative research programme includes a number of projects with an overarching focus on five overlapping areas:

  • Investigating the short- and long-term effectiveness of behaviourally-based approaches to the assessment and treatment of sleep problems in young people with developmental disabilities
  • Clarifying the interface between learning and biology in sleep problems in young people with developmental disabilities
  • Exploring the collateral benefit of effective sleep treatment, on parent and child/adolescent well-being
  • To build awareness of parents’ experiences with the sleep assessment and treatment process
  • Develop accessible, flexible, equitable, and evidence-informed models of delivering sleep assessment and treatment. A full list of our recent research outputs is available under publications.

Peer-reviewed publications

Please find a list of some of the relevant publications produced by members of the research team.

McLay, L., France, K. G., Blampied, N. M., van Deurs, J., Hunter, J., … Lang, R. (in press). Function-based behavioral interventions for sleep problems in children and adolescents with autism: Summary of 41 clinical cases. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

McLay, L., Hansen, S. G., Carnett, A. C., France, K. G., & Blampied, N. M. (in press). Attributions, causal beliefs and help-seeking behavior of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and sleep problems. Autism.

Van Deurs, J. R., France, K. G., McLay, L., Blampied, N. M., (in press). Sequential Implementation of Functional Behavior Assessment-Informed Treatment Components for Sleep Disturbance in Autism: A Case Study. Behavioral Sleep Medicine.  

McLay, L., Sutherland, D., Machalicek, W., & Sigafoos, J. (2020). Systematic review of telehealth interventions for the treatment of sleep problems in children and adolescents. Journal of Behavioral Education.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10864-020-09364-8

McLay, L., Roche, L., France, K. G., Blampied, N. M., Lang, R., France, M., & Busch, C. (2019). Systematic review of the effectiveness of behaviourally-based interventions for sleep problems in people with rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorders. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 46, 54-63.

Carnett, A., Hansen, S., McLay, L., Neely, L., & Lang, R. (2019). Quantitative-analysis of behavioural interventions to treat sleep problems in children with autism. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17518423.2019.1646340

McLay, L., France, K. G., Knight, J., Blampied, N. M., & Hastie, B. (2018). The effectiveness of function-based interventions to treat sleep problems, including unwanted co-sleeping, in children with autism. Behavioral Interventions, 34, 30-51.

Van Deurs, J., McLay, L., France, K. G., Blampied, N. M., & Hunter, J. (2019). Behavioral Sleep Intervention for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 3, 397-410.

McLay L, France K.G., Hunter J.E., & Blampied N.M. (2017). Using functional behavioral assessment to treat sleep problems in two children with autism and vocal stereotypy. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 65, 175-184. doi.org/10.1080/20473869.2017.1376411

France, K. G., McLay, L., Hunter, J., & France, M. (2017). Empirical research evaluating the effect of non-traditional approaches to enhancing sleep in typical and clinical children and young people.  Sleep Medicine Reviews, 39, 69-81.

McLay, L.K., France, K.G., Blampied, N.M., Danna, K., & Hunter, J. (2017). Using functional behavioural assessment to develop a multicomponent treatment for sleep problems in a 3-year-old boy with autism. Clinical Case Studies, 1-17.

McLay, L., & France, K. (2016). Empirical research evaluating non-traditional approaches to managing sleep problems in children with autism. Developmental Neurorehabilitation. 19, 123-134.

Henderson, J. M. T., Motoi, G., & Blampied, N. M. (2013). Sleeping through the night: A community survey of parents' opinions about and expectations of infant sleep consolidation. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(7), 535-540. doi:10.1111/jpc.12278

Blampied, N.M. & Bootzin, R.R. (2013). Sleep – A behavioral account. In G. Madden (Ed.). Handbook of Behavior Analysis Vol 2. (pp 425 – 453). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Blampied, N.M. (2013). Functional behavioral analysis of sleep in infants and children. In A. R. Wolfson & H.F. Montgomery-Downs (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Sleep and Behavior (pp.169-188). New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Henderson, J. M., France, K. G., & Blampied, N. M. (2011). The consolidation of infants’ nocturnal sleep across the first year of life. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 15, 211-220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2010.08.003

France, K. and Blampied, N. (2011) Intervention for infant sleep disturbance: empirical foundations for least restrictive alternatives. Journal of Sleep Research, 20(Supplement s1), 6-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365- 2869.2011.00950.x.

Henderson, J.M.T., France K.G., Blampied N.M.& Owens J. L. (2010). Sleeping through the night: The consolidation of self-regulated sleep across the first year of life. Pediatrics published online Oct 25, 2010; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-0976

 

Journal articles in preparation or under review

McLay, L. K., Hansen, S. G., Carnett, A. C., France, K. G., & Blampied, N. M. (under review). The attributions and help-seeking behavior of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and sleep problems.

van Deurs, J., France, K. G., McLay, L. K., & Blampied, N. M. (under review). Sequential Implementation of FBA-Informed Treatment Components for Sleep Disturbance in Autism: a Case Study.

van Deurs, J., France, K. G., McLay, L. K., & Blampied, N. M. (under review). Behavioural Treatment of Sleep Disturbance in Children and Adolescents with Autism.

Hunter, J., McLay, L., France, K. G., & Blampied, N. M. (in preparation). Systematic review of the collateral effects of behavioral sleep interventions in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.