Strict Sleeping Schedule vs. More Relaxed Schedule for Children with ASD

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Strict Sleeping Schedule vs. More Relaxed Schedule for Children with ASD

Every child is unique, and when it comes to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their individual needs and preferences vary greatly. One area where this uniqueness often becomes apparent is in their sleep patterns. Some children with ASD may thrive on a strict sleeping schedule, while others may benefit from a more relaxed approach. In this blog, we will delve into the advantages and considerations of both approaches and how Yellow Bus ABA, a leading provider of center-based ABA services in New York, is committed to prioritizing access to care in resource-limited areas while offering the highest level of clinical expertise in Queens, New York.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects individuals differently. While some children with ASD may have no trouble with sleep, many experience sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, frequent night awakenings, or irregular sleep patterns. These sleep issues can impact their overall well-being and daily functioning.

Strict Sleeping Schedule

A strict sleeping schedule involves establishing a fixed bedtime and wake-up time for your child and adhering to it consistently. This approach can offer several benefits for children with ASD:

  1. Routine and Predictability: Children with ASD often thrive on routines and predictability. A strict sleeping schedule provides a structured routine that can help them feel more secure and comfortable.
  2. Better Sleep Quality: Consistent sleep schedules can improve sleep quality, leading to more restful nights for both the child and their caregivers.
  3. Regulated Melatonin Production: A regular sleep schedule can help regulate melatonin production, the hormone responsible for sleep, making it easier for the child to fall asleep and wake up at the desired times.
  4. Improved Behavior and Mood: Proper sleep contributes to better behavior and mood regulation in children with ASD, potentially reducing daytime challenges.

More Relaxed Schedule

A more relaxed approach to sleep allows for flexibility in your child’s sleep patterns. This approach may be suitable for children whose ASD-related symptoms make it challenging to adhere to a strict schedule. Benefits of a more relaxed schedule include:

  1. Reduced Stress: A flexible approach can reduce stress for both the child and the family, especially if the child’s ASD symptoms vary from day to day.
  2. Individualized Care: ASD is a spectrum disorder, and what works for one child may not work for another. A more relaxed schedule allows for adjustments tailored to your child’s unique needs.
  3. Respecting Autonomy: Older children and teenagers with ASD may appreciate having some control over their sleep patterns within reasonable limits, promoting independence and self-regulation.

How Yellow Bus ABA Supports Families

Yellow Bus ABA is a leading provider of center-based ABA services in New York, with a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of children with ASD and their families. They recognize that access to quality care should not be limited by geographical or resource constraints. Yellow Bus ABA extends its services to locations that may not be resource-rich, ensuring that children in these areas have access to the support they need.

Moreover, Yellow Bus ABA boasts the highest level of clinical expertise in Queens, New York. Their team of dedicated professionals is trained to understand the unique needs of children with ASD and to tailor interventions to meet those needs effectively. Whether your child thrives on a strict sleeping schedule or benefits from a more relaxed approach, Yellow Bus ABA’s clinical team will work with you to develop a personalized plan that maximizes your child’s potential.


When it comes to sleep schedules for children with ASD, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some children may benefit from a strict schedule, while others may do better with a more relaxed approach. The key is to understand your child’s unique needs and work with professionals who have the expertise and commitment to support them.

Yellow Bus ABA, as a leading provider of center-based ABA services, is dedicated to ensuring that children with ASD receive the care they deserve, regardless of their location. Their highly skilled clinical team in Queens, New York, is ready to assist families in developing a personalized plan that aligns with their child’s individual requirements. Whether strict or relaxed, the sleep schedule that works best for your child is one that promotes their well-being and overall development.

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Rhonda Stewart

Clinical Director

Rhonda Stewart, BCBA, NYS LBA, earned her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from the Sage Colleges. Rhonda has dedicated her career to working with individuals diagnosed with Autism since 2008. Rhonda has a wide range of experience working with individuals from ages 3 to adulthood in various settings including early intervention, schools, residential programs, group homes, day habilitation programs, center programs, and in-home services. Rhonda began working with families through insurances services in 2014. Rhonda is currently the Clinical Director at Yellow Bus ABA and works closely with the Executive Clinical Director, Estelle Parnes, to ensure services provided to our families are effective, families feel supported, and families have a positive experience with ABA services at Yellow Bus ABA.