It’s interesting the studies they are now coming out with in relation to the latest thing that cause Autism. The most recent being that a lack of Vitamin D from not being in the sunlight is a major contributor. This makes complete sense because it’s all most unheard of in the Caribbean and Greece which are extremely sunny but highly prevalent in both the UK and the US which get considerably less sun. I know for myself that my issues peak in mid January which is a very bleak time in the UK as you haven’t seen the sun for weeks maybe even months on end. Vitamin D is in fact a proto hormone and not a vitamin at all. It is responsible for Serotonin release which relaxes you, makes you happy and sends you to sleep as well as Melatonin which gives you your suntan.
Serotonin is the hormone that helps you to go to sleep and regulates your circadian rhythms but for autistics this is frequently disrupted. We are often active as night as it’s less stressful for us. This is due to the fact that everyone else is asleep so can’t interrupt us with their problems that need solving. We have issues with figuring out what you want from us as we can’t understand you due to the fact we have what is known as Theory of Mind. In non scientific terms this is an inability to understand things from yours or anybody else’s point of view. We also have Executive Dysfunction which means we can’t carry out things in the correct order. We know you have told us lots of times in many different ways but that doesn’t mean that we are able to carry it out.
Autistics are usually quite empathetic as they can feel your stress and unresolved issues and it will unsettle them making them ill. As they don’t know how to deal with this unwanted barrage of unwelcome emotions this can cause a lot of tension in their personal relationships. Delayed emotional processing is another thing to factor in here as we can be fine during an event as repression of emotions is quite common for us but when they hit its like a tonne of bricks resulting in the stereotypical autistic explosion. Hyper sensitivity to pain is yet another factor that is often overlooked and even today I was told that a medical procedure that I needed to have done was not painful. It was very uncomfortable but there was no way around it as it had to be performed. If I said what I was feeling everytime I underwent a gynaecological procedure; I would never have one done. I do it because prevention is better than a cure.
Oxytocin is another important hormone that is lacking in Autism and I’ve written about it before but I will briefly address it here again. This is the cuddle hormone that is released when you orgasm which explains the fact that Autistics have a lot of inappropriate sexual behaviour. They know what they need to keep themselves happy and well but there is no way for them to actually access this in a socially appropriate way. They frequently become withdrawn as there needs are not being met. Autistics are a lot smarter than a lot of people give them credit for because they know their bodies much better than the average person. They know what they react to more readily than usual and they know what part of their cycle they are in intuitively. They will therefore go out of their way to make sure that their bodies wants and needs are being met. However this runs into significant problems when they are highly inappropriate for that particular culture, sex, season etc.
Vasopressin is another important neuro hormone as it’s now being termed as is very similar in composition to Oxytocin. It is in fact it’s partner during labour and they are discovering that the 3 hormones that I have been mentioning (Serotonin, Oxytocin and Vasopressin) are quite possibly responsible for the onset of Autism at birth. My mother has told me that she had a terrible time giving birth to me and she knew there was something different about me from not long after I was born but she was unable to get any help. Vasopressin is responsible for the expression of liquid through the kidneys and dilation. It is an anti-diretic that is given to diabetics of which my other is also one however she did not know that at the time as she wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my late teens when symptoms became much more apparent. She also happens to be allergic to one of the drugs they gave her (yet another unknown until then) while she was pregnant with me which is now not recommended for prescription during pregnancy.