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no pants

Posted by on May. 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM
  • 16 Replies

recently (like last 3 weeks recently) My daughter who is 5 started to throw tantrums when asked to wear underwear and pants. the same thing is happening with shoes. these are all the same items of clothing that she has worn previously, nothing about them has changed. no new fabrics, no new colors. she is fully potty trained as well. i understand not wanting to wear clothes but it is starting to impede our ability to do things outside of the house.

the issue is so bad that there is screaming and crying hitting and kicking involved. lots of "you go away" "i dont like you"  and just melting into a pile of tears and non sensical screaming. I feel at a loss This is so new to me. she has tantrumed before in stages but as she gets older it is getting harder to control or even know what is setting her off. the hardest part is that she seems to lose her ability to communicate why she is upset or anything its just a pool of tears and i dont want to wear shoes or pants. but then i get nothing. I am trying to be patient, i have tried being very frank and clear. " you need to wear your shoes outside but when we get home you can take them off"  :we have to wear our shoes because we dont want to hurt our feet" I have tried positive reinforcement. using the things that motivate her the most. candy, etc.

frankly I am exhausted and stuck. I could really use some advice.


does anyone have advice about what i can do to help her

by on May. 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Darby on May. 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Bump...I have no experience mama!  Hugs!

by on May. 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM

It might be helful to get an OT consult - maybe brushing would help desensitize the lower limbs and feet.  I have found with my son that his texture aversions in his mouth can change very quickly.  One night he chows down on his hotdog happily, the next he won't touch it unless it's wrapped in crunchy foods.  Sometimes with him this has accompanied yet another bacterial overgrowth in his guts and when that was treated then the texture sensitivity went away.  Was your daughter sick right before this all started?  Or perhaps fell and scraped a knee?  For my daughter she can carry on weeks after a booboo has healed screaming at us not to touch it, can't wash the spot, etc.

by Kari on May. 19, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Make a date with her to do something outside of the house that she really loves to do...when it comes time to go, ask her to get dressed. If she won't tell her you are sorry but you will have to cancel the plan and then STICK to it. If you do that a few times and she sees the consiquences she will adjust. It is probably a power thing. Don't make getting dressed a choice say- which oufit would you like to wear, this one or that one? Let her make a choice and then she may be more open to following through. Allow extra time before leaving the house so it doesn't turn into a huge problem for you. I have gotten myself ready, taken my purse and gone to the car after saying "I am sorry you do not want to come with me but I have to go." Of course it is a trick but most 5 year olds do not want to be left behind :) It may be a sensory thing, clothing may feel very scratchy and terrible to her right now, try to pick cozy, comfy stuff and at least summer is coming so she can wear less :) When she is calm and you are not getting her dressed you might ask her why she doesn't like wearing clothes anymore.

Good luck, hope something I did in the past works for you!!  XO

by on May. 19, 2013 at 5:36 PM

It sounds like she has a strong tactile defense...which simply means things that touch her skin bother her a lot more than it would a typical person. It's common with autism.

How about dresses? I know you still have to tackle the underwear... but the pants maybe the biggest issue... make sure most of her clothes are tagless, soft seams. You may have to experiment with different cuts and brands of underwear before you find the kind she likes. 

You can not communicate with her when she is upset (you know this lol) SHE can't communicate when she is upset. After she has calmed ask her are her pants itchy or do they feel like the squeeze her... basically ask her how those clothes feel... 

 if she does have that sensory issue, forcing her to those wear clothes would be like me asking you to sleep in a cactus bed...

by on May. 19, 2013 at 6:56 PM
Have you changed laundry detergents or softener? That may have something to do with the underware, pants, and sock (if she wears socks). Other than that, I just know they like to be naked.

by on May. 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM
D HATES long sleeves ... Always has. It was an easy solution for me to just buy short sleeves.

But no pants???!!! I have no idea!
by Carissa on May. 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

M soon has some sensory issues with clothes. Does she have an OT?

by on May. 19, 2013 at 9:20 PM

we dont have a regular OT outside of school. I sometimes go to the childrens autism clinic. but her behavior has been well controlled with school etc. it has been lately that her whole demeanor has changed. it is not just pants. but that is the most extreme thing right now. her behavior in class has changed as well and it is leaving her teachers a little baffled. I am going to call the autism clinic tomorrow, but is this an OT thing, a behavioral thing, maybe she needs to see a psychiatrist. she is getting very aggressive as well. we havent changed anything about her detergent or softeners, i get tagless everything, I understand the shoes sometimes but the pants is frustrating. it seems so hard when something new like this pops up out of nowhere.

thank you

by Platinum Member on May. 19, 2013 at 9:44 PM

I would talk to her OT if she has one. It sounds sensory based to me. Have you asked her why she doesn't want to wear them? My ds throws a fit for not having clothes on. He really gets upset if he doesn't have a shirt. Is the school having issues with her clothes or shoes? If they are what are they doing to work on the meltdowns? I hope you find an answer soon momma. I know this has to be very frustrating.

by on May. 19, 2013 at 9:46 PM
Something that works at our house are posted rules. We have a sign by the door that says pants and shirts have to be on before we go outside. We pretty much have posted rules everywhere lol.
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