The importance of pants.
Along with autism there are often some fun (read not fun) behaviors.
Like pants, I know it is not odd for someone to want to come in and take off their pants, maybe put on some comfortable pajamas or even a pair of shorts.
However with autism, pants are optional.. everywhere.
At 3 that is cute, 5 comes along and people start looking at you like you are a bad parent. When your kid is 12 and 5 foot tall, pants have to stay on when you go out.
It is just a must.
At first I tried to keep pants on him all the time. Trust me that is not easy it is rather like putting a diaper on a ferret they run, squirm and flail there is no reasoning with them and when you do finally get them on you turn around count to 3 and the pants are on the floor again.
So we decided to try some things to help. Maybe it was the pants, so out came the pajama pants, then sweats, running pants, you name it we tried it. Stretchy, loose, tight, flowing… nope… not happening.
So we went to shorts, running shorts stay on the longest about 2 hours before they end up on the floor. So we buy them in bulk because after the 3rd time he is told to put them back on he has hidden them.
Some days we don’t fight that fight, we let him run free when we are home (at least he keeps his undies on MOST of the time now).
It is just him.
After thinking about it I realized something; I know why he dislikes them! Even though he can’t tell me.
He doesn’t like them because he has a sensory processing disorder and pants don’t feel right. To him pants just feel wrong.
I know because I also was not a fan of pants, I understood social convention. I knew my pants had to stay on but I would find one or two pairs I loved to wear and not want to switch out of them. It was not always the same reason either, some had seams that rubbed, or they sat wrong on my hips. At times they were just enough too long to flutter across a point on my body that made it feel like something was crawling on me, what ever it is there was almost always a reason.
Most of my clothes have issues like that. I have a closet full of clothes that have one or another thing wrong with them and a small section of things I have worn to death just like Zach does.
His dislike of pants made me wonder.
Why do we wear pants anyway? It is simply because of some social convention? Is there are real valid reason for it? In the summer I can see being pants free as a wonderful thing. There is even a pant-less subway ride in New York each year.
I guess was hoping that maybe I could find a reason to show him why pants are important or even to justify his pants free choice. Sadly after some research I could not find a clear decision either way.
For now I am grateful right now for winter, pants are needed when it is cold (he would be happy if I let him grab a blanket or seven). When summer comes, the pants thing will be an issue again.
Maybe this summer he will get a kilt. I like kilts, who knows maybe we can start a trend in Texas, kilts on teenage boys.. Maybe not.
I guess I will keep telling him to put his pants back on. Speaking of which…