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Sensory problems in autism
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Laura2910 posted:
Hello!

I have a 10 year old son who was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism when he was 6 years old. He has made great strides since putting him into therapy, and he is now able to be in a regular classroom with almost no modifications! I'm very proud of him!

One area that I would love some help with is his issue with clothes. I'm not 100% convinced it's a sensory problem. I kind of think it's a mental hang-up, maybe totally unrelated to autism??

In kindergarten, he had no problems with clothes. Then one day he wore a pair of blue jeans that he didn't like and that was the last day he ever wore blue jeans again. Not even his favorite blue jeans....he hated them all!

In 1st grade he wore khaki pants everyday, some had pockets with flaps, some not. It didn't matter as long as it wasn't blue jeans. Then one day, out of the blue, he didn't like pocket flaps. So we cut them all off.

Through the years, the pocket flap issue turned into a pocket issue, so we had to find pants with no back pockets. A while later, suddenly he wanted no pockets at all. He pants wardrobe turned into sweat pants and warm-up type pants...with no back pockets of course!

Then the shirts were next. He's never liked tags on his shirts, but the same deterioration started happening with shirts after this pants ordeal. No collars, then no shirt pockets, then no embroidery, then no print at all. It was a deterioration that took a couple of years overall, but step of it always hit overnight. For example, one morning out of the blue, his favorite "Homework Machine t-shirt" was painful because it had print on it, even though just last week he wore it just fine, and voila! No more print T-shirts....ever!

So, today he's going into 5th grade and can only wear no pocket warm-up pants or shorts, and plain white T-shirts, and seamless socks. Nothing else, period.

I have been trying to get him to "practice" other clothes for a while now, and explained to him when he grows up and gets a job, I don't want him to be limited to the kind of job he can have by the kind of uniform he can wear. Also, going to church I make him wear something a little nicer. But, he ends up sitting on his feet and completely unable to focus.

What can I do to help him get over these clothing issues. I really think it's not sensory related as much as a mental hang-up. When I force him to wear a shirt with print for our 2 hours of practice, if I can occupy him with a fun enough game, he seems to forget he's wearing it. I just need this to turn into being willing to wear it without being occupied! His counselor says to ignore it and when he starts getting teased he'll start wearing other clothes. He doesn't care about being teased though - I don't see him falling to peer pressure on this one!

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!!!

Laura
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samid1 responded:
Hi!
I have an 8-yr-old son with high functioning autism/aspergers, OCD and anxiety. He has gone through the same type of issues with his clothes and I have been told by his dr and couselors to "pick my battles and let him wear what he likes." He likes to wear track pants or shorts and t-shirts and we have cut out any offending tags. I have also spent a lot of time on socks and shoes that are suddenly "painful." Occupying him after he gets on something I want him to wear also works sometimes. Hope that helps.

Samantha
 
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Omax6 replied to samid1's response:
I have a 5 yr.old great-niece whose been diagnosed with Asbergers. She has a very high intelligence level but is still a challenge at every turn. The sensory problems have been an ongoing challenge. Her parents deal with clothes/seams/fabric issues daily and seeing that you have a son, this next part you may not be able to help me with, but I figure it's worth a try. At present, she refuses to wear underwear. Not much of a problem when wearing slacks, skorts, etc. but she loves wearing dresses and as you can see, this causes a huge problem! When she makes her mind up about something, there is absolutely no reasoning with her. Is there such a thing as "seamless" underwear & if so, where could they get them? Any other advice would be greatly apppreciated. Thanks
 
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motherofrob replied to Omax6's response:
My son is also very picky with what he wears only sweat pants and a mostly green shirts. I think the green is his preference.
 
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Laura2910 replied to Omax6's response:
Omax6, I found therawear has stuff my son likes. We buy his underwear and socks from there. They are seemless. Also, maybe you can find some organic cotton underwear for her?

I feel your pain! And it seems like once we find something, it only lasts a short while and he doesn't like that either!
 
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Laura2910 replied to samid1's response:
Thank you! I know we are not alone. I also find keeping him occupied helps. But, you are right that one day his $40 shoes are fine, and the next day he won't wear them anymore. I don't understand it!


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