Its not that cold in the house this evening, but there’s enough of a chill to warrant the heating going on. Still, we could take just make sure we’re wearing something a bit warmer. Daniel though is completely the opposite. Once again he hasn’t got a stitch on, which is quite normal for him. Ordinarily by six years of age, any other child would understand that its convention that we are dressed, even in our own homes. But Daniel has never felt the need, and even when its cold in the house, he will resist wearing clothes. Daniel isn’t just “any other child” though.
Part of it is a comfort thing. Daniel is a big lad, and getting clothes to fit him well isn’t that easy. A bigger part of it I suspect is that its a sensory thing for him. He likes the feel of anything he comes into contact on his skin. We’ve lost count on the number of times he’s hurt himself but it makes no odds. He remains militantly opposed to wearing clothes at home. Even getting him to wear slippers to protect his feet is a losing battle. The skin on the soles of his feet is already hard on his heels, and he’s had numerous little cuts and bruises on his feet. That doesn’t deter him though.
What’s slightly worrying though is when someone comes to the door – he thinks nothing of appearing in the hallway without clothes on. We’ve stressed that he’s potentially putting himself at risk, and that its inappropriate for him to let strangers see him like that. He doesn’t understand that there are people out there who would harm him, and that’s one of the biggest danger for any autistic/aspergers child. They aren’t capable of understanding potential dangers they could face, and its what makes Daniel so vulnerable. He’s quite trusting but is unable to detect when a situation may be dangerous or inappropriate.
Fortunately though he’s managed to keep fully clothed when he’s been out of the house, particularly at school. But then school/home have been like night and day as far as Daniel is concerned. His very different behaviour in that regard is what initially had us thinking Pathalogical Demand Avoidance Syndrome. Its on the spectrum, and though he has since been diagnosed with Aspergers, maybe we weren’t so far off the mark. While he’s sometimes “challenging” at home, I’d rather he was giving us grief rather than being disruptive at school.
Until then, the battle over clothes goes on!