Long sleeves. Long pants. In the summer heat.

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Apuleius
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26 Aug 2019, 8:29 pm

Hi, all. My almost-four-year old son is has decided he must cover up completely no matter how hot it gets outside. It's obviously a sensory issue. Three weeks ago he took the cushions off our sofas, and then arranged the couches to wedge the cushions together to give himself something like Temple Grandin's hug machine. He's non-verbal, so I can't ask him directly, so I'll ask here: is there something that would give him the sensory comfort he's looking for but also let him go out in the heat and not risk heat stroke? We got him some long sleeve clothes and pants that are light cotton but also tight on his frame but even that isn't good enough. He's insisting on wearing sweat pants and sweat shirts.



eikonabridge
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27 Aug 2019, 3:39 am

I am not going to address the wardrobe issue. I can tell you a few things, though.

(1) My son refused to switch to a bigger car seat when he was getting bigger.
(2) My son used to refuse wearing any kind of hats.
(3) My son would only allow people to open the passenger side sliding door when getting into our family van. He said, the driver side's sliding door is only for getting out of the car. If someone accidentally opened the driver side's sliding door when people were getting into the van, he would protest and cry.
(4) My son was extremely sensitive to noise.

Frankly, those sensory/rigidity issues were never my focus of attention. My mind was focused on developing his deep reasoning skills.

When he got a bit older, one day I saw him entering the van from the driver side's sliding door. Then I saw it happen again. I asked him: "How come you did not like people opening the driver side's sliding door before, but now you are OK with it?" He smiled and told me: "Because I was a baby."

All those issues disappeared, once my son was intellectually developed.

I know parents like to dwell on questions like (a) what's the purpose of stimming, and (b) how can I get rid of son's behavior or replace it with something else? But, see, what I do with all those questions is: I ask myself how many parents have asked the same question before, and then watch with my eyes how developed their children have become. Then, invariably, I come to the conclusion that those are futile exercises, and that those parents have misplaced their attention, and have wasted opportunities to develop their children.

After all, it's perfectly OK for children to behave like children.

Here is what Richard Feynman had to say when a reporter asked him: "Why do magnets repel each other?" In so many words, his answer was: "Because that's the way it is." I know it's hard for people to swallow their pride and accept that as an answer. BUT, if you think you are the first parent to raise rigidity questions in autistic children, please think again. Then look around at those parents that have asked similar questions before, and look at the outcome of their children. Then ask yourself: aren't you walking over the same failed paths that others have already gone through? and, how can you extricate yourself from that trap?



My recommendation is: take your son the way he is. Move on. There are bigger fish to fry. Finally, here is a video of Russian cadets jumping out of an airplane.



Fear of height is all but natural. We have our instincts. But we also have our rational thinking power. As parents, I think our effort should be placed into developing the rational thinking power in our children, and not into what kind of parachute to provide to our children.


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magz
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28 Aug 2019, 9:39 am

I don't think he risks a heat stroke. Look at traditional clothes from the Middle East - they cover the whole body in order to protect it from heat.

I still remember when I was about 8 and the heat was insufferable. My mother told me to wrap myself in a wool blanket which I thought was ridiculus - but I tried and yes, it helped.


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Last edited by magz on 28 Aug 2019, 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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28 Aug 2019, 9:41 am

I'm a person who can't stand heat.

Sometimes, I wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants when it's almost 100 degrees.

Sometimes, wearing clothes such as these protect one from the Sun.



BenderRodriguez
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28 Aug 2019, 10:32 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I'm a person who can't stand heat.

Sometimes, I wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants when it's almost 100 degrees.

Sometimes, wearing clothes such as these protect one from the Sun.


Yeah, me too - I prefer wearing light, natural fabrics like linen or very light cotton, loose clothing, long-sleeved shirts and slacks. I hate the feel of the sun straight on my skin (crossing my fingers that this is the last heat wave this year).


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DW_a_mom
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28 Aug 2019, 2:17 pm

My 22 year old son wears a pullover sweater every day regardless of temperature with the exception of heat waves reaching 95 or so or more. He simply likes the softness; he finds it comfortable. Is your son sweating profusely? Showing signs of being distressed by the heat? If not, I think maybe you adjust by keeping him in the shade and drinking water. If he is, maybe try to keep him inside air conditioned places? It's hard, because in my experience your ASD child is going to need what he needs, and we're not going to have much success changing that.

Meanwhile, keep working with creative ideas that you hope can meet his needs in a more safe way. Have you tried compression clothing? I don't know if they make anything that would fit, but the types of fabrics used in shape wear and compression hosiery might work IF compression is really what he is looking for. If its softness, look for softer fabrics. If it's weight, research which heavy fabrics will do the job in the heat. Always like looking for a needle in a haystack, isn't it? You have no choice but to keep looking.

I love this story from eikonabridge, by the way:

Quote:
When he got a bit older, one day I saw him entering the van from the driver side's sliding door. Then I saw it happen again. I asked him: "How come you did not like people opening the driver side's sliding door before, but now you are OK with it?" He smiled and told me: "Because I was a baby."

That really is what its often like. An issue today, gone tomorrow. No guarantees (remember my 22 year old son and his sweaters), but sometimes rolling with it short term is all you need to do.


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jimmy m
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28 Aug 2019, 7:08 pm

If your son likes the experience from deep pressure which is why Temple Gardin's hug machine works, then you might want to consider weighted blankets and also weighted clothing. The OTvest, Weighted Vest Provides Calming Deep Pressure Therapy to Help Those with Asperger’s Syndrome Feel Better and Do Better.

I know you were thinking about him wearing short sleeve shirts and short pants to make him feel comfortable. But it is a matter of perspective. He may feel more comfortable by deep pressure.