New here and very confused

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2003
New here and very confused
9
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 5:38pm
Hi everyone, this is embarrassing for me. I realize abnormal attachments/behaviors and compulsive behaviors are "normal" with children like ours on the spectrum. The question is....do any of your children have attachments to clothes of the opposite sex? It seems that my DS likes womens clothes. There I said it. He says he likes the way they feel. What do I do?

Thanks,

embarrassed

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 11:33pm

Hello and welcome to the board.

Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 11:55pm
Well, my dd (11) likes to dress like a boy. She has been into the boy look for many yrs. I have to hogtie her down for her to wear a dress or ANYTHING feminine looking. Her latest look was Shia Le Beuf on Even Steven. It usually coincides with a TV show. I had to buy her Hawaiian shirts this summer so she could look like him. I shop Target or WalMart in the boys dept. She is so hard to buy for. She usually wear jeans & T-shirts in soft cotton materials only.Dark colors. Never pink or pastels... Oh well. My other dd(14)does dress girly so 1 out of 2 ain't bad. Mary Ann
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 12:17am
I agree with Candes. It sounds like a sensory issue: I mean did he say he likes how they look, or that he wants to call him Jenna? No. He likes how they *feel*. Take him shopping and try and find some boys clothes which feel more acceptable to him.

Also if like most of us, he wears the same outfit first thing after laundry day, try and find out exactly what it is he likes about it, and see if you can buy more clothes with the same characteristics. You may also take a look at which womens clothes he prefers and try and find something with a similar feel, but for a boy. Athletic clothes; soccer or cycling shirts may be the answer here.

Now, if you could only tell me what to do with my 5yo son's breast obsession. Every day off the school bus, I get the two handed salute!

Yours in confusion.

-Paula

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 11:58am
You all have made me feel a bit better but I still feel uncomfortable with the issue. I thought it had something to do with is dx though.

Actually we have bought him silk boxers and he wears them to bed, don't know if he wheres them under his pants or not during the day.

He stopped wearing jeans around 4 or 5 years old, he said they bothered his privates. He doesn't own a pair of jeans he where's kaki's.

I know he likes girls also. He wants a girlfriend.

What brought me to the board yesterday was he had one of my brides maids dresses in his room and he said he wears it at night. He got the dress from the attic. He knows we don't like him dressing in girls clothes and I think it embarrasses him I believe that is why he hid it. The brides maid dress isn't silk but it has lace on it and not very low cut but moreso than his t-shirts.

I have asked him if he wished he were a girl and he responds that he doesn't want to be a girl.

So I should buy him things that feel good to him so that he will leave the girl stuff alone...is this right? I have bought him silk boxers now I need to look for silky t-shirts. What about the dress? I wonder if it is the lace??? I wonder if he would actually tell me. I was stunned because I thought that phase was over with and I guess I didn't ask all the right questions. I am feeling like a horrible mother now. Do any of you ever wish you had a "normal" child? But then again what we consider normal is getting into the drug and alcohol scene. At least I know where he is unlike some parents of "normal" children.

Thanks for responding,

~~Ashley~~

Avatar for rissc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 3:02pm
Hi Ashley,

I agree with the other posters that it is a sensory issue. I have to be incredibly careful with what I buy Tim. He, like his father, is particular about how a fabric feels against the skin. I buy Tim loose pants as he can't stand what feels like abrasive fabric against his legs and groin. We usually head to the secondhand store to buy clothes as they are so nicely worn it. Silk is a hit here, too. As you said, he doens't want to be a girl. Try some different fabrics. I go to the fabric store and we test all the fabrics out and I make some of Tim's clothes. It's so much easier in winter as fleece is what he loves to wear. I've made him mitts, scarves and touques, as well as sweaters. As for pants, I buy one size larger and alter the waistband and the leg length for him. There are ways around the sensory issue but it takes a lot of work to get the right fabrics. What feels soft to me is harsh and prickly to both dh and Tim. Ask your ds what he likes about the bridesmaid dress, the lace? the other fabric?..it all adds up to being a wonderful sensory release for him and that is what counts.

Larissa

Larissa
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Registered: 07-11-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 7:44pm

Three words......

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 8:31pm
Ashley,

Don't feel like a horible mother. You are not. You had concerns for you son and you looked for help. Some people may have ignored it, or worse.

I think it's time you had a heart to heart chat with him. Try and have it in a place where he feels most comfortable -maybe his room or maybe take him out for a little walk or something. Explain that you understand that most boy's clothes feel uncomfortable to him and that you want to help him find clothes which are more comfortable. Explain that the best way to do this is to find out what he like best about his favorites -including the bridesmaids dress. Just be open and honest: he understands that he can't wear this outside, just let him know that you will help him to find clothes which make him feel more comfortable (and then make a shopping date).

He will probably be very relieved to have the talk (if still a bit embarrassed). I am betting he is just as confused as you are. He needs support on this issue too. He has probably been feeling guilty and abnormal for a long time.

I think sometimes we all wonder what our children would be like if they didn't have issues: I never take it very far: If my son wasn't the way he is; he wouldn't be my son. He would be somebody else's loud boy. A lot of what make him wonderful to me are related to his disability.

I do worry about other people's acceptance of him, and I think you are in that place too. I let my daughter, who has much less severe issues "act out" a lot more in public than I ever did my boy, but that is a separate post.

-Paula

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 10:41pm
I really appreciate all of you that posted. This board has a wonderful group of people.

I have been having DH read the posts with me since he is concerned as well and while we were at Wal Mart tonight, he was looking for shirts with me that DS might like. Another thing I thought of doing was buying those silk sheet sets. I asked DS and he said he would like that. Also DS said it was the lace on the dress. I explained about societies rules once again as I have in the past. It is something where a girl can where boys clothes and really nothing is said about it but once a boy where girls clothes it is taboo. "Oh they must be gay or transexual!" Another thing is "oh he must have been sexually abused". Speaking on that subject, before DS was diagnosed people thought he might have been. I have asked him and he denies it and he has been through counseling and no professionals can say that he has so I will believe my son. But when I did research, all his behaviors were "normal" for his diagnoses but "abnormal" for society.

Thanks,

Ashley

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Mon, 10-06-2003 - 12:53pm
Ashley -- My DS (age 10, AS) doesn't like women's clothes per se, but he does have a real thing about texture. He loves a nice soft chamois shirt, or something made of suede. And while he doesn't want to wear them himself, he loves rubbing against my arm when I wear a silky or satiny blouse, and I can't count the number of times I've been watching TV and Chris starts stroking my leg because he likes the feel of my pantyhose.

With Chris, we have to be careful with jewelry. He's always loved jewelry since he was little, but most people think a 10-year-old boy wearing necklaces and bracelets is, well, a little "off." We try to confine him to his crucifix necklace that he got for his First Communion, and the occasional "power bracelet" (dark green beads that are supposed to be calming or something like that).

Elizabeth