How to Dress Up Your Autistic Child

Our extended family has an upcoming wedding to attend. Our thirty-year-old nephew, our son’s cousin, is getting married.

That, and my son’s upcoming elementary school graduation, prompted me to upgrade my son’s wardrobe. For the most part, our family dresses casually. My husband has to wear a suit to work, but at most other times we’re all dressed in shorts and jeans, casual tops and t-shirts.

What about dressy clothes?

Over the years, my son has worn nicer shirts and pants.

But, for the upcoming events, I thought a “real” upgrade was needed.

I shopped around and bought him a white, button down shirt and a clip-on tie.

I got a nice pair of slacks as well.

For shoes, I had to make a judgment call.

What’s the problem with shoes?

The problem is I have a twelve-year-old whose feet seem to grow daily.

After conferring with friends, I decided on a black pair of sneakers for my son to wear to both events.

The sneakers are all black, they’re wide because my son’s feet are wide, and they’re approximately half a size too big for him if he were to wear them today.

That way, hopefully, if another dressy event comes along within the next few months up until the fall, then we’ll have the shoes part taken care of.

What do I think might be the hardest part?

No doubt about it, the tie wearing will be the hardest part for my son.

He’s never worn a tie before, the wedding will be his first time. And, he has never like things tight around his neck. He ever flinches when I put suntan lotion on his neck.

How will I handle the tie wearing?

I’ll have him practice wearing the tie.

Here’s the plan:

I’ve already told him that he’ll need to practice wearing the shirt and tie a few weeks before the events.

We’ll probably do something like ten minutes one day, twenty minutes the next day, etc. We’ll build it up something like that.
Additionally, I added on something he can earn, a computer game of his choice (one he’s already chosen).

Hopefully, by the time the wedding and then the graduation swings around, he’ll be able to tolerate the wearing of the shirt and tie.

Hopefully, his behavior during both events will be reasonable enough.

I think he’ll do just fine as he continues to learn how to “rise to the occasion.”

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