A neurologist recently told my wife that our 9-year-old daughter may be on the autism spectrum. He wants to get an MRI done.
This weekend, I went with her on an annual father/daughter camping trip we have done for the last three years. On Saturday night, she refused to put her shoes on despite the fact that it was raining and muddy. The shoes she wore earlier had gotten wet on a raft trip--as if walking barefoot in cold mud has so much better. She also had dry, almost new shoes that we bought on vacation a few weeks ago. No, they had sand in them and were not cleaned enough.
Sunday morning, she would not leave the tent. She said she did not have any pants or skirt. I went to the camp shop, and could not find anything in her size. (They did not have shoes/sandals in her size, either.) I tried getting an XL shirt for her to wear as a makeshift dress. Not good enough. I bought women's medium size shorts and the sales clerk was nice enough to track down some safety pins to hold them up.
On the way home, we stopped to get her a skirt and shoes. The skirt part went mostly OK--I had to leave her in the fitting room, pay for the skirt, and bring it back for her to put it on before she would come back out. She started throwing fits about the shoes, though. She insisted on buying a pair of Sketchers instead of something cheaper do make do for the time being. Eventually, I called my wife and she asked to speak with her. There was an agreement that she would do chores to work off the price of the Sketchers. But then they had a fight about what chores she would do. I said she either had to use her allowance or go home without shoes. She would not budge. Then we eventually got an agreement on chores she would do. Then she could not find the right pair of Sketchers. This went on for a long time until she finally decided on one pair.
My wife and son were away when we got back home. I started most of the dirty laundry, but apparently the bag I did not start was the one with her bras in it.
My wife has to leave for work before I do and then I need to drive the kids to school. Morning care does not open until after my wife has to leave. The kids would not come down before she had to leave and she was screaming at them that they needed to be downstairs and ready for me to take them to school. She was getting very tense, and I told her to just go to work. After the threat that my wife would take his phone unless he got up right then, our son got up and dressed. My wife left. Then our daughter decided she needed to change outfits. It was taking a long time and I was afraid my son and I would be late. In a pattern that has become frequent, after claiming she was getting dressed for a considerable amount of time, she "discovered" she did not have a necessary piece of clothing--a bra this time. Only when we were already running late did she tell me I needed to find one.
But I couldn't find one. When I sort clean laundry, I make sure that all of her stuff goes into her room, my wife's stuff goes into her pile, and my stuff goes into my pile. Our son is supposed to take care of his own laundry. My wife, however, often leaves loads of clean laundry unsorted on the bed. When it is time to go to sleep, she just randomly tosses unsorted clothes into her pile and my pile. So both piles contain stuff from her, our daughter, me, and even our son sometimes. I often have trouble finding socks because my wife has thrown them in her pile. Furthermore, she does not put her stuff away very often, creating a huge pile with clothes from everybody. I often can't match my socks because she has put one of them in my pile. I go through my pile and put most of it away--there is not enough room in our closet my dresser to put it all away, but we plan to put a wardrobe in the spare room once we get our daughter's old bed out of there. So I searched through all of the laundry in our daughters rooo, through all of the laundry in the dryer, and through all of the laundry in our room. I could not find anything except the bra she wore the day before--which she refuse to wear again. And she refused to go to school without a bra. I threw the "dirty" bra into the laundry and told our son he had to walk to school. I called my wife and she just told me to look through all the places I had already looked. I have a sore knee, and it got worse while I was kneeling to go through my wife's huge pile of clothes. Eventually, I did find a bra in that huge pile--but our daughter thought it was dirty. I searched again and again, and finally found another one. OK, she would put that one on. But it took her much longer than it should have. Then she complained that she could not find a specific brush. I finally got her to use her other brush.
I wound up dropping her off at school at 8:30 and did not get into work until 9:20. I can't afford to lose this job, and I have a new boss who may not be as understanding as my previous boss. The stress was of not being able to leave for work was incredible.
All of this also brings up some issues from my past. My sister, who is older than me, was always getting new clothes. She would wear something once or twice, and then decided to never wear it again. Our daughter is quick to decide that clothes or shoes she has worn a few times are too small or do not feel right. I had to do with hand-me-downs and cheap stuff that I would get teased--and beaten up--for. (Yes, when I was young my parents actually gave me hand-me-down girls clothing. Some other stuff was decade-old, out of fashion stuff from older cousins. I was the youngest off all of the cousins.) My mother also had a habit of throwing all of the laundry into one big pile and my clothes would often disappear for months at a time.
That sounds tough.
Submitted by rainbow on
I give you major props. It sounds like you've been way, way more patient than a lot of dads would be in those situations.
I'm responding because although I'm not autistic, I've always had sensory issues regarding my clothes, ESPECIALLY my shoes and feet. Bless my Mom's heart, she was very patient, too. When I was little, shopping for new clothes and shoes took forever. Getting dressed, same thing.
She helped me come up with ways to make certain things tolerable - for example, for a while when I was 7-8 years old, I wore tights under my pants every day because I didn't like how they felt when they rubbed on my legs. I did eventually get over that, but still had issues with how jeans felt when I first put them on (you know how they are kind of stiff after being washed but get "broke in" once you wear them for an hour or so). My mom would kind of "stretch" them before I put them on so it was less bothersome. I also had to have socks with virtually no seam, and they had to be adjusted just perfectly or I could "feel" them. I even made up a word for this whole phenomenon. When anything was uncomfortable, it was "crumbly," lol.
Once I got a little older (for sure 12 or so) I pretty much took over...I learned my body a little better and knew how to make myself comfortable. It was still tough because of fashion and fitting in at that age etc.
Fast-forward to now, I'm in my late-20s, and I still have a thing about clothes and shoes, but I've gotten so used to catering to my weirdness I don't really think about it anymore, lol. It's now my prerogative if I want to spend hours shopping for clothes that are comfortable (and returning them if they're not), or spend extra cash for it, or if I feel like it, ordering 10 pairs of shoes online with my credit card so I can try them all on and send them all back if I don't like them. And it also helps that I'm not a teenager that feels obligated to keep up with fashion "trends," HA.
Anyway the point is, I think there's a good chance it will get better as she gets older (even if it's just finding workarounds). I take care of a young lady who has autism for my job. She has some sensory issues too, but not regarding clothing - mostly hers is food-related. She doesn't like a lot of foods, especially anything with melted cheese. As long as it's not melted, she's fine (she does eat cold cheese or, if it's pizza or something like that, she'll eat it once it's cooled enough that the cheese isn't "stringy").
Sorry for the tough time you're going through. I really think you've responded to it in an exemplary way. I hope things smooth out soon.
Submitted by bowlofpetunias on
This morning she was taking forever to get dressed. Eventually she said she needed a shirt. I gave her one. I waited about 10 more minutes and set the timer. I unlocked the door--no progress on putting on the shirt. I gave her 3 minutes. I went in and found she was reading. Then she discovered she needed a bra. Fortunately, she found one this time. Then she need to brush her hair and put on shoes. Then she could not find a hairband--a hat had to do. I dropped her off at school about 20 minutes later than usual. I think I need to plan on things taking longer and just assume I will have to pay for parking at work instead of taking the shuttle to the free lot.
Last night was tough. My wife took her away over night on Saturday. We met them for a couple of movies yesterday afternoon. By the end of the movie, our daughter was really hyper and my wife as reacting badly. When we got home, our daughter carried all of her dolls and stuffed animals inside at once. Our son was not feeling well and was on the couch. She started throwing a fit that she needed to put the toys down on the couch. He started fighting back. I told her to take them upstairs. She said she couldn't because there were too many and she would drop them. I tried taking some of the larger ones and while I did so she dropped one of the dolls. She claimed it was cracked, but my wife did not see any damage. My wife went out to the car and I found our daughter playing with water toys in the living room. I told her to stop and clean up the water. My wife came in and became worried about slipping. She argued with our daughter about cleaning it up and our daughter said that if my wife would take her dolls--which were now on a chair that had other clutter--if she stared cleaning it up. My wife promised not to do so and said she was wrong to take the doll a few weeks ago. (From our duaghter's perspective, that was like a hostage situation.) Then my wife noticed that there was water under the wooden toy castle. Our daughter was still refusing to clean up. Then my wife did one of the worst things I could think of in the situation. Right after promising she would not take the dolls, she picked up the castle and said she was going to throw it out! Naturally, this only enraged our daughter and I had to talk my wife down. Eventually, she did clean it up (mostly) after my wife gave her some distance.
I took our daughter upstairs to get ready for bed. She needed her medication and went downstairs. She said she needed a cough drop and my wife drew a hard and fast line against her having one. I went down. While our daughter was in the other room, I asked why she didn't want her to have a cough drop. Oh, because she doesn't really need it. I pointed out that this was a small thing that we did not need to create a fight over, but acknowledged that we couldn't just walk it back now. She lashed out loudly that this was the second time I had questioned her decisions. I pointed out that i had tried to do it in private and not in front of our daughter, but she had been loud enough for her to here.
I tried going to sleep. My wife stayed up. Before I could fall asleep, she came up and saw our daughter's light on. The door was locked. So they fought about that. My wife go into bed around 12:15 and almost immediately started snoring. It took me a long time to fall asleep, and I had to get up at 5:30.
Submitted by Hopeful Heart on
my son also struggles with sensory issues with food and clothing. When he was younger he struggled with the concept of time.
The only way I survived his elementary years was to get everything ready the night before...... his clothes, his backpack, breakfast, and lunch. Even having everything planned out and ready to go, it was still exhausting every single morning getting him to school. Getting him out of bed, getting him to put his clothes on, getting him to eat breakfast, getting his shoes on him, getting him in the car. They were all monumental tasks. Then, when we would finally be driving to school, he would get nauseated from the car ride every single morning. I’m assuming the nausea was another sensory issue.
When he was in elementary he attended a school that required a uniform. That was a blessing because the uniforms were soft and loose fitting and no struggling over what to wear. Then I homeschooled him for five years so there was a reprieve from the stress of getting to school every morning. Now he goes to public high school. When he started to high school he got the Idea that all of his clothes had to fit as if they were tailored specifically for his body. It was impossible to buy him clothes. If anyone at school made the slightest comment about his clothes, he would refuse to wear that piece of clothing ever again. Conversely, if he wore a new piece of clothing and no one complimented him on it, he would also refuse to wear that piece of clothing ever again. Really impossible to deal with!!!!! Last year he joined the powerlifting team and gained 25 pounds of muscle. He has rock hard abs and well defined arms. It has boosted his confidence immensely and He’s been able to relax so much about his clothing.
We still struggle with food, though. He literally eats less than ten whole food items. I’m exhausted from trying to feed him and I’ll be relieved when he’s on his own and that duty falls on him instead of me.
I can really relate to your struggles. I truly hope you get some relief soon.
We still struggle with food, though.
Submitted by bowlofpetunias on
"We still struggle with food, though. He literally eats less than ten whole food items."
Our daughter is a vegetarian who eats hardly any vegetables. Her diet consists of Boca burgers, perogies, and pasta, with a little bit of cucumbers and raw carrots. Oh, and junk food, of course.