Hello again, and welcome aboard the autism boat. Today I want to talk about the sensory issues I have with light. This one isn’t so much of a problem as sound but it is still important to talk about.
For me (and most autistic I have met), artificial lights are terrible, especially fluorescent and LED. These lights are just so bright and I can still sort of see how bright these lights are when I close my eyes. I have to use my hands to cover my eyes but this isn’t socially expected and then I can’t see at all. Being under these lights drains my energy fairly quickly and this often leads to exhaustion with prolonged exposure. But prolonged exposure often happens as in most offices and certainly in schools most of the lights are fluorescent. Every day I go school and leave exhausted (for multiple reasons but this contributes), it is just so intense all of the time. This problem is made worse if the room is painted white or has white tiles as the lights reflects and is made 10 times worse. When I go to sleep I must have it very close to pitch black because I can still see small lights when my eyes are closed and it keeps me awake.
So what light do I like? I love natural light, sitting by a big window will make me more productive and will often not decrease my exhaustion levels. If I am feeling particularly overwhelmed I can shut my curtains to have a low light level but it’s still natural. I could also wear sunglasses inside but I like to be able to see well as I have to look very closely at peoples body language and facial expressions when I talk to them. Also stimming can help me become less exhausted or overwhelmed but this just slows this process down, it doesn’t stop it.
The thing you should take away from this is that autistics need natural light to function better, and it’s such as easy adjustment. By just moving an autistic kid in class to a desk by the window might increase their focus. For me I need to open my curtains more and have my light off until it gets dark. See ya!