Y0u may be asking yourself, what does a coat have to do with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? THe reality is, I feel as though my entire winter and fall is defined by the statement, “Put Your Coat On.” I make this comment to my son during the cooler and colder parts of the year at least once a day. Or at least I did. Then I realized there was a reason he didn’t want to put his coat on. There was a reason he wanted to wear shorts in 20-degree weather. There was a reason he wore t-shirts all the time. The reason is sensory processing disorder and I needed to change my thinking, not him.
Whether kids are avoiders or seekers, sensory processing disorder children have quirks. Many have issues with clothing. Jaxon, for instance, hates wearing clothing and runs around in underwear only whenever possible. He hates coats, sweaters, long sleeves, and anything that is restrictive. He does not wear jeans and is not a fan of PJs. And there are other sensory kids that have opposite issues with clothing. But, most have some issues with clothing.
So, when I began developing this blog, I figured I would use the phrase that defined my last few months and see how everyone could relate. This issue is just one of the many that, as a parent of a child with SPD, I have been tasked with learning to navigate. One thing that I did insist upon was that Jaxon at least brings his coat to school. I told him that if he didn’t I could get arrested. I know, it is a lie. But it worked. I don’t force him to wear it, but I ask that he bring it every day. And he tends to wear it at recess because his friends wear their coats. IN the meantime, I have learned to let go of insisting he dress for the weather or wear clothes when it is just us at home. I have explained why he needs to wear clothes in public or when guests are over and he accepts that as a thing that he has to do.
And I have let go of my ideas of what a child should be like and learned how to let Jaxon be himself (with a little help from mom).