Date and Time: May 21, 2024 at 2:00 pm, ET
Megan L. Wenzell (Alder), PhD, RN
Case Western Reserve University
Title: “Sleep & Clinical Correlates in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”

Dr. Megan Wenzell (née Alder) is an early career pediatric nurse scientist focused on translational biobehavioral sleep research in young children with autism. She is a new Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University. She recently completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University School of Medicine on a multisite team that developed a new parent-rated measure of insomnia and sleep-related impairments in children with autism. Behavioral insomnia is a serious health concern for up to 78% of autistic children, which is two times greater than the prevalence of sleep problems in the broad pediatric population. Compared to the general pediatric population, the efficacy of educational/behavioral interventions for insomnia in children with autism appears less effective. A better understanding of insomnia subtypes and commonly associated behavioral correlates (e.g., hyperactivity, disruptive behavior) may improve clinical management and prevention of insomnia in children with autism. Dr. Wenzell’s work aims to examine insomnia using a multidimensional lens to help identify therapeutic targets.

The Virtual Seminar Series is a resource to support career development by providing opportunities for trainees and early career investigators to deliver professional talks to an audience of peers and colleagues through online seminars. Our goal is to provide a resource for Sleep Research Society members at all levels of training to get continued exposure to new and exciting sleep and circadian research methods and findings.