Transitioning to Pants in the Fall/Winter

by Julie Misiano
(Upstate New York)

Hi, my 5 year old son with SPD, is really struggling to wear pants this year. He finally agreed to wear a jacket yesterday (it's 50 degrees), but still wears shorts. He gets teary when thinking about wearing pants. I believe he is not being "bratty" and that the change in routine and/or tactile defensiveness is bothering him, but I don't know what to do.


Last year he pushed his long sleeve shirts up past his elbow all winter, so I figured he might be in short sleeves this year.... but not to wear pants??

He already gets brushed once in the morning, after completing the two week protocol for Wilbarger about six weeks ago. Any other suggestions?? He won't wear sweatpants (too soft), only "rough" shorts like canvas or denim, and the pants I have are identical in all ways accept length.

Thanks,
Julie

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Nov 06, 2008
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Transitioning to pants
by: Anonymous

I feel for you. My daughter used to try to wear her bathing suit outside in the winter and we live in NY. You could try those pants that have zip off legs. Try telling him he has to wear them outside (to and from school, etc), but can take the legs off when he gets there. Good luck!

Nov 06, 2008
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I hope this helps
by: Melissa

Hello,

I was reading all the comments left for you and wanted to share a little of my story about the Pants/winter... my daughter refuses to wear pants also, I tried all the techniques everyone listed .... it may work, but for my daughter it did not... I would try getting her mind off it only 5 minutes later she would remember what she was wearing and freak out... so I spent the whole exhausting day trying to get her mind off it... with 3 other siblings running around, I found it tiring...

I don't have the answer now for you... or a technique, but I will suggest talking to her Pediatrician about SPD, we are taking my daughter Nov.19 to a specialist on child SPD because I tried too long to deal with it on my own... I promise if I find anything that might help you I will be sure to let you know... I hope this helps... I completely understand what you are going through.... its a nightmare when fall/winter arrives.... dealing with the "pants" issues. I think you are making all the right steps....

Good luck to you & your family
sincerely,

Melissa from Boston

Nov 04, 2008
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distraction
by: Anonymous

My 5 year old has had the same issue. It has gotten a bit better. It usually helps if I don't draw attention to it. I will have him step into his pants while he is watching his morning shows and I talk about something else as I help him put his pants on. If this fails I tell him he has to wear them to go outside and play or some other incentive. Sometimes it works and some times not. If it is a firm rule he usually gives in, but still is particular about which pairs he'll accept.

Oct 21, 2008
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Thanks
by: Julie

Thanks Darlene:

I ended up giving him choices: if he wore pants, he could wear only his denim jacket. If he wanted to wear shorts, then he needed a flannel shirt with an insulated vest over it. He chose the vest and has been happy for the past 3 days. We'll see what happens when it gets colder. I agree with you that he isn't being bratty..... but you know that you get those stares at the stores with people thinking I just need to be "tougher". It isn't always easy. At least he has a coat on!

Oct 20, 2008
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not being bratty
by: Darlene

Dear Julie,

I don't think your son is being bratty. My 8 year old son Daniel has had a problem with clothes since he was approx 3. He refuses to wear pants also. Luckily we live in Florida and have a short winter. It is getting easier to reason with him. I'm afraid I made it through the last 5 years using manipulation. If it was really cold I would tell him that the teacher said that all of the kids had to wear pants. Sorry I guess I had to fib and bribe him a bit. Always being careful not to get caught (kids with SPD tend to be very intelligent).

I also have learned to pick my battles with everything.I think ages 5, 6, and 7 were the hardest for him. He is getting better at being held accountable. Also, I let him pick his clothes out sometimes. Give him only a couple choices and tell him that he HAS to wear one of them. Too many choices will probably cause anxiety for everyone, so limit them. Good luck ! Let me know how it goes. Darlene

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