This is that time of year when the days are beginning to feel really short and the decreased sunlight starts to get to me. I am a clear winner in the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) race and have a light box on my desk to help that along. (In case you’re interested, I have the SunBox DL because it actually doubles as a nice desk lamp.)
Today was chilly and rainy and completely cloudy and pretty much parked me squarely in the blah zone. Half a pot of coffee, loud music, well not much seemed to help. To say I wasn’t very productive today is an understatement.
I picked J-Man up from school and they said he had been pretty foggy all day too. He didn’t seem really upset today or anything, but he wasn’t his normal bundle of wild energy either. They said he was just kinda there all day. That sounds familiar, and it got me thinking.
Is there any greater probability that an autistic person would also have Seasonal Affective Disorder than the general population? I looked around on the Internet but no one seems to have done any real study on that.
He may have just inherited that from me and it’s essentially coincidence that he’s also autistic. I am curious, though, that given the number of parents who give their autistic kids some melatonin to help them sleep and that research indicates that it’s likely that the lack of sunlight that brings on SAD is because of decreased melatonin production in the body, is there some sort of relation here?
I could be talking completely out of my ear here (well, I know I’m doing that), but does anyone else have the experience of their kids being kind of foggy, mopey, lethargic, or whatever in winter vs. summer? Does their behavior change in general as the seasons do, and if so, does it change for the worse or the better? (though ‘worse’ and ‘better’ are highly subjective in our world) If it did, did you do anything to try to address it? I’m not about to put an autistic kid in front of a light box without a lot of supervision considering that much light can make some people suddenly really hyper. That could turn into a big mess if you’re not careful.
This is our first post-diagnosis winter. I honestly didn’t pay attention to how the season changes affected him last year beyond the clockwork allergies we all have.
Today just got me wondering and I’d love to hear y’all’s perspective on this.