Sunday, April 14, 2013

Under pressure

I’m looking for feedback.

For years, I've been thinking that I recognize a connection between the weather and Bud’s ability (or inability) to maintain emotional regulation.  Specifically, it seems as though Bud struggles as a low pressure weather system is approaching our area.    When the forecast calls for a major storm a day or two in the future, Bud is volatile – sometimes emotional and easily overwhelmed, sometimes oppositional and aggressive, and sometimes all of those things at the same time.

On the other hand, I’m aware that I live in a region of the country characterized by volatile weather systems.  We have a lot of advancing storm systems, so I sometimes wonder if I’m grasping at straws and seeing correlations where none exist when I attribute his behavior to the weather.  Maybe we are so rarely more than a few days away from a storm that there is always a low pressure system I can point to when challenging behavior erupts.

So, reality check me here.  Do you see a connection between the weather and your child’s behavior?  And if so, what do you see?  I’d really like to know.

13 comments:

KateK said...

I don't have a kid -- but do get migraine headaches, which are ABSOLUTELY effected by low pressure weather systems:
http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/when-weather-makes-migraines-worse/
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/16/health/he-migraines16

It's a stretch, but if low pressure gives your son a headache, he'd be in pain (and I'm assuming unable to communicate being in pain to you) and thus aggressive because he's miserable.

Is he less aggressive when you're on vacation in an area without storms? Can you give him a baby aspirin (or Tylenol or whatever painkiller his doctor recommends) as a prophylactic the next time a low pressure system is in your area? (On the theory that if he's in pain, it'll relieve his pain so he is less miserable/aggressive; if he's not in pain it won't do him any good, but won't cause any harm either).

graceunderautism said...

yes I absolutely see a correlation between weather systems and behavior. Here in the desert, when we see swift weather changes hot -> cold -> hot or super windy days, J gets very distracted and extra chatty at school. His parapros say that he is difficult to keep on task and he is very irritable about having to do work. At home on those days he is emotional and on edge.

Kerri said...

My daughter also has behavior changes with pressure systems coming through. She feels it before most people do. I also think she knows that this change is associated with storms, which she does not enjoy. There's some anxiety there. Her teachers have recognized the behavior change as well. She becomes frustrated easier and is more on edge at school. At home she remains on edge and also has a hard time figuring out what to do with herself. I used to enjoy a rainy day, now I've come to dread them.

Jodi said...

a good friend was just telling me today that she noticed this exact thing and mentioned it to her child's therapist. the therapist said yes, definitely, changes like that will affect these kids. i haven't noticed it with my child but i'm going to be watching.

Alysia said...

Absolutely yes. Especially big storms...blizzards, hurricanes etc. I've blogged about it too. At first i too thought i was creating something in my head, but i get headaches and neck pain with pressure changes, so it affects me too. He's a bigger sensory seeker a day or so before a big weather change, but fine once the weather is here.

dmdm said...

Absolutely. When we lived in the desert, the rapid pressure changes and air quality (brown cloud)had a distinct impact on behaviors. Now, we live in a tropical region, where air quality is vastly improved, but the pressure systems that come thru are longer lasting and more oppressive. My guy (10) does indeed complain of a headache and joint pain... NOW. This is a recent development. Before, we just has an irritable, cranky, short-attentioned Grump on our hands. Ibuprofin/Motrin is our friend!... Add the weather to the list of ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGERS.

Krystal said...

Definitely!! Living in South Florida during rainy season is not easy for my kids. They get anxious and nervous. Their behaviors seem off the charts at times. Hurricane season is even worse because the pressure in the air is just so extreme at times.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that my autistic son does more finger flapping and jumping when he is outside in the wind and when he is cold.

I also believe his behavior is affected by outdoor allergies. If things are blooming his behavior may be affected.

Anonymous said...

I live in Australia, I see the changes in all the children on windy days and when stormy weather is coming. More chatty easily upset.

Meredith said...

I will have to make a mental note of this. I haven't noticed it so far, but I do see a change in Henry's behavior during (not prior to) a period of bad weather that prevents him from getting proprioceptive and vestibular activity outside. He grows cranky and physically out of sorts. We see more jumping off the bed, throwing, hitting, etc.

christianaspergermoms said...

Oh yes. I'd say the correlation is definitely there. My son has always been affected by low pressure weather systems. He usually has headaches that are painful enough to trigger meltdowns.

Sonia said...

As a teacher, I can confirm that all kids in school get effected by high winds so it seems reasonable that there is a correlation for Bud

lsl said...

I don't have a kid, but I used to work in a special needs school, & I have the hyper-sensitivity that a lot of people w/ autism have. I could tell when a storm was coming because my skin would HURT, and several kids would start acting out at the same time. After we noticed the pattern, I would tell the rest of the staff, & then we could get the kids the deep pressure, or time in the sensory room, or whatever that kid needed, before the sensation got too much to deal with, and prevent the problem behaviors from occurring in the first place.