Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pants and Shoes!

I would like to start this by saying this doesn't happen every day - but it does.

"My Pants HURT!!!!," screams Chandler from his upstairs bedroom.

"My shoelaces are crooked," yells Spencer after putting on his new light up Spiderman shoes.

Any efforts to assist with the problem cause further blow ups and issues.

I don't fully understand the sensory issues that come with Asperger's.

Chandler has about 40 pairs of pants. On any given day, one type of pant is good, and all of the others can just be thrown away. Pants that were perfect yesterday no longer work for him, and the battle in the morning begins, usually around 7:15.

About a year ago, Spencer was infatuated with the color green. Everything had to be green - so we stopped what we were doing, found some very hard to find Green Nike shoes, to which he wore for about three days before everything had to be blue.

We have to hold our sleeves when we put our coats on, because if the sleeve bunches in the coat sleeve - the day ends right there. Socks have to be seamless or the seams have to be aligned perfectly with the top of their toes, or you have just wasted the fifteen minutes it took you to convince them that it's okay to wear socks.

Last night my wife took Chandler to buy some new jeans. He didn't need the jeans, but there was a good sale, and he has been in "jeans mode" lately - so they went to the mall and picked out a couple pairs of pants.

Something happened between last night and this morning that caused the same pair of pants that worked last night to no longer be a suitable option for Chandler. He started the day by screaming at both of us about it.

I have to admit, I raised my voice at him, partly because I was frustrated, but mostly because he could not hear me over his yelling and screaming. After five minutes of yelling at me, he looked at me and SCREAMED: "DON'T YELL AT ME!"

Honestly that didn't help how I was feeling about the situation. I am a little OCD myself, and one of the things I am obsessive about is being late. I can't be late anywhere. I hate it. His tirade was going to make him late for school, and leave me in the office to explain why he was late, although now the nice women who work in the office understand the word "meltdown."

I never handle these situations very well, because I don't yet fully understand it. Maybe I never will. There are days that I am better with the boys in the morning than others, today wasn't one of those days.

I finally decided to help where I could and allow them to try and figure this out on their own. Chandler found pants that he wanted to wear, and Spencer was fine with his shoes after about a half hour. Then we had to battle the "I don't want to go to school," issue - but that's a topic for another day.

As someone who is an analytical thinker and a problem solver, it's hard for me to not understand what my boys go through everyday with something as easy as pants and shoes. This is one area of growth that I absolutely need help with. I never approach it the right way, and maybe because of the disorder there is no right answer. Maybe the answer is I need to be more flexible and understand that we might have to go through 39 other pairs of pants before we find the right one for the day - and tomorrow, all of the ones that didn't work yesterday might be perfect.

My next post will be about squeezing tight - it really does work.

Cory Howerton

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. For us it's food. We can go days on the same menu then BOOM 39 things offered before we get it right again! It wears you down in a hurry. Thankfully not all the moments in each day are like that, it mostly the not knowing when it's gonna hit that has you holding your breath with each transition.