September 3, 2010 3:08:46 PM PDT
Fluorescent lights could indeed be a contributing factor. They strobe 60 times a second and while ignored consciously, the flashing is picked up by the eye and nervous system. For most people the side effects are slight, fatigue and/or a headache----that "drained feeling at the office" . However, children with learning disabilities and attention deficit syndrome can be really affected, since a room can be in complete darkness for a fraction of a second..
Ironically when fluorescent lighting first came out after World War II, most fixtures had three lights wired in such a way that at no time were all lights out. This helped offset the effects of the strobe. But the design was costly to manufacture and so the two light design became popular which did not, and does not, compensate for the strobe. Both lights are out at the same time.There are fixtures and lights which solve this problem available. The other issue related to fluorescent lighting and mood, is that they do not provide the natural spectrum of light normally available from the sun in summer. They tend to be high in ultraviolet and low in other types of light.
Two things that are worth trying: 1] Replace fluorescent lights with the older style incandescent bulbs in whatever room they spend a lot of time in. 2] Talk to your doctor about trying out a "SAD" lamb for your child. They closely match full spectrum natural light. Normally they are use just for Seasonal Affective Disorder a.k.a. fall and winter depression. Since fall is just around the corner SAD lights should be popping up all over the place. Last year I saw them for sale at London drugs over the counter.. Going through your doctor however you may be able to try one out before spending money.
There is indeed a tendency to lump all children with mood behavioral disorders together,SAD, food allergies, etc.
A friend of mine has a son with Asperger's syndrome
, who did a lot of research, and was able to find an alternate treatment which did not involve heavy duty drugs. The therapy I believe [I will ask her for more information on this] involved getting her son used to various sensations. For example having him slowly brush his arm with a cloth for some time each day. At first she did it for him then later on he did it as a daily routine himself. It should be noted that his Asperger's syndrome
is quite mild, but as a young boy he was a terror. He is now 18, and just graduated a straight A student with honors.
Please keep us up-to-date on how things are going!