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My son won't change his clothes
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My son won't change his clothes

He gets mad and blows up, he has anxiety, and he has some odd behaviors. He tends to collect things that belong to people he cares about. He hates to touch dirt. If he doesn't eat he becomes a screaming yelling nightmare who can't think clearly but once he eats he'll take a deep breath and regret the storm. He'll go from a snarling beast to a regretful puppy in the time it takes to eat a cheeseburger. Today is being dominated by his refusal to change clothes. I litterally have to take his dirty clothes off of him and hide them to get him to put on clean clothes. He will dedicate hours to screaming and crying that his pants don't fit but when it is time to change them, he won't take them off and no other pants will do. If I give him the same pants he wore two days ago and refused to take off, he'll scream and cry that now they don't fit and don't feel right. It doesn't matter what I give him to put on it doesn't work for him. The same thing with shirts, they don't fit right and don't feel right when he puts them on but I have to take them off of him and hide them to get him to change. Our therapist doesn't get why I take his clothes off of him but it is the only way to get him to change. He's 10 years old and he's going to be in intensive therapy over the summer but nothing anyone has told me explains why he won't change his clothes. I was wondering if it could be part of his emotional issues.
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535822_tn?1389452880
It sounds like you get into a power struggle with him, how about you set the clock earlier ,give him plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, dont make a big deal of it, put his clothes out then let him be in control, of dressing I doubt any 10 year old would like to be dressed, so back off and see what happens , sometimes less is more ...try it .
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973741_tn?1342346373
I also think that sensory issues could be at play.  My son refuses and I mean REFUSES to wear some things because of the texture and the way it feels.  Your sons refusal to play in dirt is also sensory type of behavior.  Please google "tactile defensiveness" and see what you think.  For my son, getting his hands wet in preschool resulted in a major meltdown.  Every time he had to wash his hands there, he would cry.  It was uncomfortable to him to the point that it almost hurt.  We worked on this (did occupational therapy) and it is significantly better.  Google tactile defensiveness and sensory integration disorder and see what you think. If you think it fits we can discuss some strategies to help.  good luck
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13167_tn?1327197724
Sounds like sensory issues to me too,  and blood sugar issues.

Has his blood sugar been checked?   When blood sugar levels dip,  it really causes a LOT of physical discomfort - a panic like angry state.  When he's hungry he needs to have immediate access to food to pop his blood sugar back up - orange juice is a good choice.

He should be evaluated by an Occupational Therapist.

Best wishes.
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535822_tn?1389452880
As your therapist said why do you have to take his clothes off him ?Maybe your therapist has some good ideas ...
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Avatar_m_tn
If I don't take his clothes off and hide them he won't change. I have him change his clothes at night (forget PJs it's not worth the fight for something he's only going to have on for 10 hours or so) and I ask him to change first. He refuses and after an hour or two I give up and take his clothes off of him. If I can't get him to put on anything but a t-shirit and jocky shorts without a fight, I let him sleep like that and start on pants again in the morning. We are trying some new ideas but so far none of them work and at the end of the day, he still has to change his dirty clothes.
Last night I found a trick that worked. If I took him to the Y to go swimming and he put on new clothes when he was done swimming and showering without any fuss. I think that it is sensory. The swimming erased the "memory" of how his last set of clothes felt and he put on new ones with no drama. There are some things he will never ever wear, those go to Goodwill, but mostly it's the change that he objects to. When we go buy summer clothes I am going to buy him all the same shorts and the same style of t-shirts with different colors and paterns. We'll see if that will do the trick. If it works, I'll stick with that buying pattern until he asks for a change. Anything for one less fight in a day.

Rock Rose - Thanks for the OJ tip. I've never tried it. I'm always keeping hard boiled eggs on hand but he's suddenly decided he doesn't like eating them any more. Probably egg overload. We'll try OJ. I have a bunch of beef sticks for him at school. The school psychologist had to convince the teacher to let him go get one from the nurse when he gets cranky but now it's working pretty well. I know he has a blood sugar problem, I just wondered if if could be tied to the sensory problem.

I will go look up tactile defensiveness. Maybe I'll learn a way to help him.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I have a son with sensory integration disorder and it is amazing what swimming does for him.  It is like the perfect sensory activity------------  he gets "heavy work", deep pressure, and tactile input in one!  My son is very mellow and compliant after swimming---------  we do it often!

My son had many tactile issues.  What I've found is that by working on his nervous system as a whole, those are much better.  Just as swimming has a positive effect------  that is generally what I am talking about.  I'd google "heavy work" as it pertains to sensory integration disorder and incorporate those into his day---------  and his nervous system overall will be better regulated.  

Some simple ideas----------  jumping on a trampoline, playing tug of war, lifting weights, rock climbing, jogging, SWIMMING, gymnastics, animal walks (especially crab and bear), monkey bars, karate (AWESOME ACTIVITY for many reasons), wall or chair push ups, etc.  These things help keep the nervous system maintained so that if something like the material on the skin is irritating him, it is less so as the nervous system is working more efficiently.

I'd also try to think if anything about his clothing triggers it and work on it.  I'd also start discussions about appropriate ways of coping.

Blood sugar and sensory/behavior are related in this way.  All people would have a reaction to low blood sugar.  A sensory kid has less ability to handle it as their emotions are less regulated.  Their reactions to things can be over the top.  A snack is a part of many IEP's for this reason.  It helps with behavior.  
Goodluck
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Avatar_f_tn
My son is terrible when his blood sugar is low. he can be SO mean.  What kind of terhapy are you in at the moment?  If you haven't looked at getting an OT eval for Sesnory processing disorder I would do so or ask your therapist about it.    

My son is in Karate he loves it, it is calming for him.  Swimmming is good too.

I know what it's like to have these struggles!!  So exhausting!!  You feel like what did I do wrong or why is it so hard???!!
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