As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dirty Laundry

In a previous blog I talked about how Bryce had attached himself to a specific long sleeved shirt, pair of jeans, and black socks. While he still insists on wearing that outfit everyday, I have come up with a solution that I hope will gradually get him into some other clothes.

Laundry! Dirty laundry is the key to wearing something else. If what you wanted to wear was dirty, you would have to wear something else, right? So I’m trying to teach this concept to Bryce. Now originally when I came up with this idea, the outfit wasn’t actually in the wash, but I was hoping that if he thought it was, that maybe he’d forget about it and be ok in whatever else he was wearing, and for a while, that worked. He’d be fine with it and for the rest of the day he’d tell me “washing first, then wear it” or “drying first, then wear it”, depending on if I told him it was in the washing machine or the dryer.

After a couple of days, I felt bad saying it was still in the wash when in fact the washing machine wasn't even on, so to prevent any more distress for him and lying from me, I actually decided to wash them.

Today was laundry day for his specific long sleeved shirt, pair of jeans, and black socks. I gave Bryce a different outfit to wear, and asked him to gather his clothes and bring them to the laundry room to be washed. I had him help me put it in the washing machine, so he’d see where the outfit was and that seemed to make it easier on him. He was a little upset, but he put them in and let me know that they were “washing first, then wear it.”

I smiled and gave him a big hug, and praised him, “Good job!” I turned him and faced him to the mirror we have in the den and said, “Look how cute you look in your shirt and shorts. You’re so cute.” My words put a big smile on his face, and he giggled and said, “so cute, so cute.” I took that opportunity to ask him about colours. “What colour’s your shirt?” “Blue!” “What colour’s your shorts?” “Blue!” “What colour’s your eyes?” “Blue!”

When his laundry was finally done, I had him help me take the clothes out of the dryer. I gave him his jeans, and some socks, and when I was looking for his specific long-sleeved shirt he pointed to a different one saying, “blue shirt, please, blue.” I don’t know what triggered him to want to wear the blue shirt, but to me it was great progress that he wasn’t wanting to wear his specific long-sleeved shirt.

He immediately put on his new outfit and his whole attitude shifted. He was more happier, more energized, and couldn’t stop smiling.

He even helped me put away the rest of the laundry.

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

2 comments:

  1. Clothing seems to be a common issue. Including for us. Every night when we get Kurtis ready for bed he asks, "shirt tomorrow?" (pointing to the shirt he is wearing), "pants tomorrow?" (pointing to the pants his is wearing) etc. If the clothes are still clean I tell him "OK" if they aren't I sign, "need to wash shirt/pants" "Tomorrow clean shirt/pants". When getting dressed in the morning we go through the same ritual with his pajamas. One thing we have done that has helped is to label his dresser drawers with the day of the week. Different clothes for each day and that seems to make the transition to different clothing less stressful.

    Are we having fun yet? :)

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  2. I love your labeling dresser drawers idea! What a great way to teach the days of the week too! That got me thinking maybe to incorporate what the weather is that day too, with pictures of the weather and the clothes sorted like shorts for sunny days, pants for rainy days etc.

    We will definately have to try it out and see how it goes. I'm not sure if he'd get the concept of Monday is short sleeved day, but it's worth a shot!

    Thanks so much, and we're always having fun! :)

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