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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Regular Bedtimes Tied to Better Behavior

From The New York Times' Blog "Health"

By Nicholas Bakalar
October 14, 2013

A regular bedtime schedule is unquestionably helpful for parents, but a new study has found it even more beneficial for their children.

British researchers interviewed mothers when their children were ages 3, 5 and 7, asking how often their children had a regular bedtime: always, usually, sometimes or never. The mothers and the children’s teachers also completed questionnaires about behavioral difficulties.

Almost 20 percent of 3-year-olds had no regular bedtime, compared with 9.1% of 5-year-olds and 8.2% of 7-year-olds.

After controlling for many social, economic and parental behavioral factors, the scientists found that children with a regular bedtime, whether early or late, had fewer behavioral problems. And the longer irregular bedtimes persisted, the more severe the difficulties were.

The study, published Monday in Pediatrics, also found that children who had irregular bedtimes at ages 3 and 5 had significant improvements in behavior scores if their bedtime was regular by age 7.

Still, the lead author, Yvonne Kelly, a professor of lifecourse epidemiology at University College London, warned against exaggerating the importance of the findings.

“Getting kids into a regular bedtime routine does appear to have important impacts on behavioral development,” she said. “But there are lots of things that have beneficial effects. Having a regular bedtime is only one of them.”

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NESCA FAQ: Why does an evaluation at NESCA always address educational issues?

NESCA considers testing for both diagnostic and educational purposes to be inseparable elements of an effective evaluation. Because your child’s disability will inevitably affect his or her performance in school, it is essential to understand the nature and extent of that impact. Much of any necessary remediation may well happen in school, and we need to be able to write well-reasoned, specific recommendations about how the school should address your child’s special needs.

These recommendations must be made persuasively, in a way that maximizes the likelihood that the school will recognize the recommended services as integral parts of the "free and appropriate public education (FAPE)" that public schools are required to provide to children with special needs. In addition, your child may need, and be entitled to, accommodations for his or her disability in the academic setting, and this also needs to be carefully documented.

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