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Keywords:

  • Mental handicap;
  • sleep problems;
  • epidemiology;
  • autism

Abstract— Data are reported from an exploratory study looking at the prevalence of sleep problems (broken sleep and limited hours of sleep) in a population of handicapped children. Some degree of difficulty occurred in over a third of the population. There were strong associations with age, a range of serious daytime behavioural difficulties and indices of family stress. Some support for distinct subgroups (night waking, limited hours) was obtained. The implications of these findings are discussed.