G. is now firmly six and a half: he weighs over 100 pounds and is 4-1/2 feet tall. Most of his clothes are a boys large, meaning 10-12 year old boys are wearing similar clothing.
I’ve felt comforted to hear that other families with autistic children find them stripping down in their houses for no particular reason: G. could be wearing tailor-fitted clothes and still remove them without compunction or regard for circumstance.
We had a dinner party the other night that included friends and neighbors. As the night got a little long, I let G. stay up until about 9:45pm. When it was time to go to bed, G. casually walked into the dining room for everyone to see his less than kid like accoutrements. One of our friends shouted, “I didn’t realize it was going to be this kind of party!”. We all laughed, with the exception of G., who did not want to go to bed. G. dropped to the ground and put all of his weight into staying there. Fortunately, whatever will he has, he got from his willful parents and I lifted him from the floor and got him into bed. He was exhausted and fell quickly to sleep. He awoke the next morning as naked as he had been.
The slight difference was, he wanted to go on the porch. Different rules apply and thankfully, he respects these. Excited to get fresh air and see the birds, G. dutifully put on all of his clothes and went and waited on the porch until I was awake and downstairs – something like 40 minutes (I can hear everything going on below my bedroom, so wasn’t worried).
When I got downstairs, we prepared and ate breakfast and decided on this slightly rainy day to go to the zoo. Although his socks needed to be discarded after getting wet, clothes remained on until evening and bath-time, to everyone’s great relief. Now it is my hope that we continue seeing more instances of spontaneous dress and maybe even communication telling me how that feels.