Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Sleeves April 18, 2012

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 9:23 am
Tags: ,

We have a new issue to deal with.  It’s been brewing for a couple of months but it hasn’t been a problem up until now.  It still hasn’t quite reached “problem” status yet but the closer we get to summer and the warmer the weather gets the bigger and bigger it looms.


Jay will only wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.


This child of mine who does NOT like to be hot. Who gets mad when he’s in the car and the sun touches him.  Who splashed around in the dogs water bucket to keep cool the last time we were on vacation.  Who sweats profusely even when the rest of us are feeling comfortable. Who sits under the umbrella at the beach until the sun does down (or the clouds come over) before he will venture out to play in the water. Who prefers to drive around in an “AC’d” car than a “windows down” car during the summer.


I don’t get it.

Last summer (and all the ones before that) he didn’t have any issues with wearing shorts and tank tops.  Then as the weather got cooler we obviously switched to long sleeves and added more layers and donned hats and jackets.

Maybe about 3 months ago, we noticed that he would get agitated if we put a short-sleeved under shirt on him and then take too long to add the long-sleeved top layer.  It got progressively worse and he would cry and say “NO” and pull on the short sleeve as if to stretch it all the way to his wrist.  He could not function until we put on his desired long-sleeved shirt.


That was all fine and good while it was 30 degrees outside.

Now that it’s in the 70’s and 80’s we are stuck between trying to keep him cool (and therefore happy) and allowing him to keep wearing long sleeves and long pants (and therefore happy).


Last night CC tried to “break him” by putting on a short-sleeved pajama set and letting him cry for a bit.  It was awful. Jay had a fit. It wasn’t a regular fussy little cry like he was just trying to get his own way … it sounded like he was in real distress.  He pulled on the sleeves, he ran from room to room looking for a different shirt to put on, he looked down at his arms and seemed to be horrified at seeing the exposed skin. I tried to hold him and rock him but he wanted no part of it. All he wanted was for his arms to be covered.

Then came the kicker.  He sobbed, “Help me, help me. Ow ow ow

He understands what “ow” means.  He uses it appropriately when he is hurt. I don’t think it was a random rambling. I think he felt so severely uncomfortable that it was actually painful for him.


The thing is … when it’s bath time, he quite easily takes his clothes off and hops in the bath and is fine.  His bare skin doesn’t “hurt” when he’s in the bathroom.


I don’t know what this means and I sure as heck don’t know what to do about it.

I’m kind of hoping that as the summer gets into full swing, he will get with the program and switch back to wearing cooler clothes but I don’t know if waiting and hoping is enough. We may be in for a long uncomfortable summer of Jay refusing to let go of his winter garb and being miserable because he’s hot.




7 Responses to “Sleeves”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Oh, the sensory component. Tate is the opposite. He’s all short sleeves, shorts and sandals…and wants to wear those in the dead of winter. He’s sensitive to heat, too.

    Can you talk to Jay’s therapists about working on a program where they work on getting him used to short sleeves? Would he be agreeable to long sleeves, but shorts? You can write a social story about which clothes are better for the warm weather. And show him pictures from warm weather where you are all wearing short sleeves and shorts, etc.

    For us, Tate was much more go with the flow in terms of clothing when he was younger and unable to tell us that he didn’t like something. As he got older, the issues and battles
    intensified. Through help from his ABA team, social worker, and OT, we have worked on it more..but it is still a battle. Hugs…and hang in there!

  2. My Asperger's Teen Says:

    Will he wear Under Armor? It may actually work well since it’s designed to help people keep cool and move sweat away from the body. Plus it fits snugly and might help him feel more secure. Might be a good alternative to sweats!

    • Thanks for that. He will wear anything as long as the sleeves go to his wrist and the pants go to his ankles. So far there are no aversions to particular types of material. I love suggestions!

  3. rhemashope Says:

    we’ve had similar issues with clothing. seems like there’s always a battle when the seasons change. mostly, my daughter has trouble going from short sleeves to long sleeves (and shorts to pants). along with working with the OT and establishing a rewards program, you might also try easing him into summer-wear by using tops with three-quarter sleeves or pants that you can roll up bit by bit? or perhaps reward him for wearing a short sleeve shirt for a very short period of time before putting on the long sleeves… and gradually increase the time?

    • Thanks J. I put him in a 3/4 sleeve shirt last night with long pants and although he kept yanking on the sleeve to pull it down he kept it on without a fuss. We’ll keep working on him gradually.

  4. […] After 5 days of gradually rolling sleeves and pant legs up – Jay is now wearing shorts and short sleeved t-shirts.  *thumbs […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s