Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What to Wear; How to Wear It

Let’s start with pants. Without going into too much detail, my son was always most comfortable in clothes that were easy to wear. For nearly all children, new-found independence comes with successful potty training, but my son really took very little interest in his wardrobe. So throughout grade school and into high school, we let him wear sweat pants or warm-up pants to school – no zippers, no buttons or snaps to struggle with. It never occurred to us that part of being accepted by peers was dependent on looking like peers, fitting in.

So, on the advice of one if his teachers, we went shopping for jeans. While some kids would be looking for the cool pair, my son didn’t care; as long as they weren’t hard to button. The first few pairs I bought for him had a snap closure, rather than a button. It was very hard for him to get a button through a jeans buttonhole because there is not a lot of give in the buttonhole stitching. Although my son has passable athletic skills, his fine motor skills were not as good, so buttons, scissors-work and handwriting were some of the more difficult tasks he’s had to master.

In addition to getting the buttons to close, there’s also the zipper to worry about. Oh, that’s right – most people (neuro-typicals) don’t worry about zippers. But a lot of zippers won’t stay closed unless you lock them by making sure the zipper pull is flat against the zipper. Failure to do so can lead to embarrassment. Who taught you that?

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