Full Moon and Autism: Is There a Connection?

by J

Now, I don’t want to sound a little crazy, but I am really starting to wonder if the moon cycle plays a role in my son’s all around behavior and ability to function at his best. Sometime last summer, when S’s new teacher started, I remember complaining about S having a rough few days. Her reply? “Well, it is a full moon.” I sort of laughed, as I thought she was joking. She wasn’t laughing though, and she told me that in her many years as a teacher, she has become convinced that the moon’s cycle has a strong effect on children with ASD and those with ADHD.

And so, as months would go by, I would notice that on days where S really seemed to be having a bad day, there would be a big white ball in the sky. He tends to have a harder time transitioning, a more difficult time following directions, a shorter attention span, difficulty finishing tasks and more erratic sleep patterns.

Apparently, unbenounced to me, yesterday was a full moon. The fun started first thing in the morning. There was whining, crying, refusing to eat. Then, he cried at putting on his coat. He had a hard time transitioning from the house to the car, from the car to school, and from the school building into his classroom. By the time we hit the classroom door, he was done. He had been awake for about 2 hours and he was DONE. Luckily, with some help from his teachers, he did make it into class- though, he didn’t do much participating. He did not sit for story time, or for his favorite- art. He threw a few tantrums in the 90 mins we were there.

But the kicker?.. S wasn’t the only one with an off day.

Only ten minutes we got settled, another little girl came in- she had so much trouble transitioning, that she had to be restrained, by a teacher, for her safety (In a deep hug sort of way- she was flailing her body about).

Once things settled, I jokingly asked “is it a full moon?” to which the entire room replied “yes” in the most exasperated voice. It seems everyone else had put this connection together long ago. And sure enough, I checked the moon cycle, and here we are… a full moon.

There is also one little boy in the class who I have NEVER heard speak. We have been in class with him since October and I have never heard him utter a word. He is also so anxious, that he appears to be velcroed to his mother. Yesterday, he was off and about, playing with the other kids and chatting about his activities. I was floored.

And I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection. Can the moon really have an affect on our children with ASD? I mean, it does control the tides and a woman’s monthly cycle. It really isn’t that far fetched.

After we left school, we went through a series of additional tricky transitions that left me exhausted and had S in a foul mood. At this point, I updated my Facebook status to “Apparently, there is a full moon. Shocking”. And you know what? The people who “liked” this status?… Parents of special needs kids.

So, I decided to do some googling when we got settled at home, and I found that I am far from the only one who suspects a connection. And, while there is no evidence to support this theory, there are certainly a lot of families around the world that see a connection. I know I will certainly be paying close attention. One thing is for sure, I know that the moon cycle will have an affect on my supply of wine.