Autism and SAD

Today is MSG’s eleventh birthday.  We celebrated with a family party last Saturday, so today is Self-indulgence Day.  Or maybe we could call it SID.  The day that I figure everyone ought to have on their birthday.

Except that MSG has to go to school.

School has been frustrating, lately. Much as it was this time last year.  As the days grow shorter, and the time changed (sigh), all of us involved with MSG’s daily life have noticed that he’s grown grumpier, impatient, fussy, more easily distracted, and frustrated with every little thing.

We are looking into the possibility that he is experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. Though in many, this presents as a depressive state, all of us who live and work with autistic people know that what might show up one way in a “normal” or neurotypical mind rarely does the same in the autistic mind.

We used to live in Southwest Florida, where the days were longer and SAD wasn’t a common concern. Here, though, apparently it is. Social workers get heavier caseloads at this time of year, counselors keep longer hours at times, and so on.  And people often get the winter blues, I have read.  This is a new thing for me, at any rate, to have to learn about.

I just ordered a sun lamp, because I’ve heard they can do some real good with this situation.  I am hoping and praying that it will.  Last year, we were all miserable during the winter due to MSG’s problematic behaviors. He is not happy when he’s not doing well with his self-control issues. He would like to be happier, too.

So, maybe we can work with the SAD and come out HAPPY. 🙂  I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Sare Liz (Gordy) Anuszkiewicz · December 6, 2012

    Ooo, Vitamin D, and if your doctor orders bloodwork and finds you sadly lacking, you can get prescriptions for the higher dosages. I speak from experience. Me and the Buffalo Winters, we require about 21,000 IU a week more Vitamin D than my body cares to create. And the difference it makes! Huge. Also, I have full spectrum lighting here and there, and a happy lamp (er, sun lamp), but taking my vitamins works so well that I don’t really need to use the happy lamp.

    • Sandi · December 7, 2012

      Hi, Sare Liz! I imagine “the blues” are much more prevalent up there in Buffalo! I’m trying to remember the vitamins (just regular supplements for right now) and the “happy lamp.” I showed my son that and he likes it. lol So it may get renamed, here…

      Thank you! It’s encouraging to hear that smoothing this over for him might not be TOO hard. Maybe. 🙂

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