Tuesday 17 May 2016

Jumpers on or off with SPD

Ever look outside to see what the weather's like before getting dressed in the morning?  I still do but generally these days clothes are laid out the night before and are based on the weather app on my phone. The only thing that matters with David is if it's going to be hot then we lay out his school shorts.  But Anthony needs a bit more attention. This might sound as if Anthony is the more complicated, but both boys have autism and both have things to think about even with something as simple as choosing what to wear for school.

Anthony is quite temperature and touch sensitive.  As far as the springtime weather and clothing goes, this means he can feel when he's getting hot really quickly and wants to be able to cool down by taking off his jumper.  On the other hand, if it's raining, he wants to be able to wear long trousers so his legs don't get wet.  Spring time is a constant reviewing of our weather app of see which version of shorts, trousers, long or short sleeve shirts, Anthony will be wearing to school.

David on the other hand is the opposite with temperature.  He'll hardly notice if you put him in a really hot bath and doesn't blink if he's been holding ice in his hands for a while. Of course, the interesting thing here is that David is still actually getting hot or cold but he's just not bothered about it or perhaps doesn't register it in the same way.  So whereas we have to prepare Anthony for every eventuality of the weather,  David is more interested in wearing things as they are meant,  It's part of his routine that he wears a full school uniform and like many individuals with autism, routines can make him feel comfortable. In the recent warm weather this has meant that David has been sweating lots at school. 

On the day the weather first turned warm, David was in school in regular trousers, his school polo shirt and sweater.  As the day got hot David refused to take off his jumper despite several attempts by staff to remove it.  He ended up pretty sweaty.  We are now sending him into school in his school shorts.

 So how can we help the kids further?

Well, we can help Anthony make decisions on what he is going to wear based on what we think is going to happen and then help him if he becomes anxious about what he is wearing.   We have used a 'problem chart before to help him with this.  We can help him by pointing things out like, if it rains you won't get wet if you are inside for example.

For David, we're going to have to try and help him understand he can wear his school uniform without his jumper.  Initially I think this will be a trial of taking his jumper off sometime after he has come home.  As David can generalise tasks he may be able to allow to happen at school in the future too.

Jumpers on or off, shorts or trousers?  Who knew getting dressed for school would be so complicated for our little guys?  Our daughter is now beginning to rquet items to wear and that's a whole new thing for me.  How do your lot get on with choosing clothes?

Our blog - Wellies make me think SPD
Our blog - Helping kids decide what to wear with a spoon doll craft


  1. Oh yes, totally know what you mean with this - our girl insisted on wearing her thick padded winter coat on a lovely warm day recently!

  2. The Boy is sensitive to temperature but prefers his jumper to be off. I think he struggles with the feel of the two layers as well so I just put it in his bag now. He also can't stand to feel rain on him, his face in particular, and he won't wear shorts at school.He likes to wear comfy clothes outside of school uniform and I try to make sure his uniform is as comfy as possible as well.

  3. Polar bear hates school jumpers, he loves to wear fleeces though, even on a hot day he will refuse to remove it. He'll be running around and getting hotter and hotter and still refuse to take his fleece off. It took us ages to teach him that it's okay to take the fleece off when he's too warm but he'll only do so when he gets really hot as opposed to before he gets to that point. It's a learning process.

  4. Hayden associates is uniform with school, and we can tell pretty quickly if he is happy that it is a school day or not. He doesn't seem to have any problems taking it off, butif we didn't put it on in the morning I don't think he would realise he was going to school if that makes sense. Getting him dressed is a whole challenge in itself. If he doesn't know where he is going it will cause a huge meltdown. And at 5 and a half I still have to pick out his clothes and dress him. Thank you for linking up to #sectrumsunday lovely, hope you join me again this week xx

  5. Can relate to this as my som doesn't appear to feel the heat or cold. Spend ages convincing him it's trouser weather and then when the warm weather comes we have to convince him to get his shorts back on! X


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