The correlation of the changing weather and my sons behaviors wasn’t clear to me right away. There was such an increase in the amount of vocal stemming, later bedtimes, more aggressive behavior and he just seemed very unsettled. These behaviors were occurring right before a storm hit and would last as long as the storm did. So for anyone who knows me, that’s right Google :-). Even though it seemed as though there were no exact answers, I saw many stories of parents having similar difficulties with their Autistic children when a storm was going to hit. Because Autism is neurological, it only made sense that the change in barometric pressure would affect my son. Depending on how instantaneous the drop in pressure was, determined how much my son was effected.
Every child is different and they find comfort in different things. Some of the things that help Malik calm down and allow me to get to bed before 4am on stormy nights are:
– Lavender baths
– Calming Cd’s
– Favorite movies
– Low, to no lighting
– Foot massage
– Squeezing and applying pressure to all limbs and head (if in the mood :-))
Another treatment that I have heard about, but it is not covered by my insurance is Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments. These are where you are placed in a chamber where the oxygen inside is at a greater level of concentration. Since 75% of autistic children are said to have hypofusion (reduced blood flow to the brain), you can see how treatments with higher levels of concentration could be helpful. This treatment allows more oxygen to transfer to the tissues, and most importantly the brain. Sessions average $200 per hour and they are recommending anywhere from 20-40 sessions. So obviously a very costly treatment, but if it truly works in helping our children, then it’s worth it!