Autism (and required pants)

Emily Schaefer

Dillon loves to swing on his very large commercial grade swing in the backyard, but he understands there is one rule that he must obey in order to enjoy that swing; he must wear pants. He loves to swing naked, which I can’t even begin to imagine the freedom of how swinging naked feels, so I don’t blame him for wanting to, but for our neighbors it’s a common courtesy to wear pants. There have been past times where his birthday suit has been visible from the front of the house. It’s funny to see his naked butt swing up over the top of the privacy fence. It makes me laugh, but probably makes the neighbors cringe! We used to have a trampoline, and this was also a problem, naked jumping. Of course this issue was a little bit more serious then the naked swinging, but I guess boys will be boys right?!

So the other day, I found him swinging naked, and asked that he put pants on. Of course he jumped off his swing, and trotted into the house to find pants to put on. A few minutes he returned from his room with no pants on. I asked him again to put pants on, this time finding the pants for him and handing them to him, again, persisting that he puts some type of covering over his naked self. At this point he was frustrated with my nagging, and started to get upset. He ran over to the other side of the pool and smacked on of our screens that surround our pool. I asked him to calm down or he was going to have to go to his room and this time to seal the deal, he came over and smacked me on the head.

I sent him straight to his room, where he had a temper tantrum for what seemed like only a few minutes. I was in the bathroom trying to get ready for work while across the hall he sat at the edge of his room, lifting his arm as if to hit me every time I peaked around to see if he was still in his room. After a few minutes he came into the bathroom and grabbed the back of my arms and pinched me with some force, enough to make me wince in pain. I ushered him back into his room, trying not to display my anger on my face. He started to kick the walls so hard the lights flickered off and on. I ignored him as best as I could, and continued to brush my teeth while standing in the bathroom doorway peering into his room. After a few minutes of wall beating and angry bird calls, I entered his room and sat down on his bed with him. He looked at me and shook his head, to let me know he was done.

A requirement before leaving his room after tantrums is a “nice touch” where he touches you nicely and does not try to hit or pinch you, or poke your eye. After he gave me the nice touch, I let him go out and swing. Only a few minutes in the bathroom, I came out to see him swimming in the pool naked.

We win some and we loose some. Oh well, atleast the neighbors can’t see him!

Write Elizabeth a comment to her profile here

Courtesy of Emily Schaefer

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