So it's ten degrees and he gets off the bus in his tee-shirt only


Well-Known Member
Me: Lucas, where's your coat???

Lucas: Oh. I left it at school.

Me: But it's freezing!

Lucas: It's not so bad. I was in the bus.

Me: Did you just leave your coat in your locker? Why?

Lucas: It's locked in the lunch room. I forgot to get it and they locked the door. I'm not allowed to wear my coat.

Me: WHAT????

Lucas: You know, it's not safe. You could put a knife in your pocket.
(The wonderful communication skills of a child on the autism spectrum)

Confusing? I had to call the school to straighten it out. I guess he's been wearing his coat to every class, afraid that if he puts it in his locker he'll miss the bus when he has to go to his locker and get it after school. So he's been wearing it to every class, only he's not ALLOWED to wear the coat to every class because it's considered "unsafe." Some kids (the school was very careful to point it wouldn't ever be Lucas) may bring a knife and stash it in the pockets. I'm still not sure how the coat got locked in the lunchroom, but I decided to focus on making sure somebody forced him to get his coat before he got on the bus each day after school. It's not that hard for them to do. The bus only has eight kids on it, and the driver isn't on the rushed schedule of one who drives forty kids home.

Lucas has lost three coats this year because of this odd "I forgot to put my coat on" problem. At least the problem seems to be solved now. To me this is shades of the future. Although Lucas will be able to live alone in an apartment (he can stay alone for hours already and he's just 13), and take care of his basic needs, HE WON'T TAKE CARE OF ALL OF HIS NEEDS. He may not put on appropriate clothing or bathe if not forced. Makes me think he'll need assisted living. Thank goodness he has loving sibs who promise to keep an eye on him when his father and I are gone. This is NOT a dumb kid. He just thinks so differently than NT kids. And the idea of being late or breaking a rule terrifies him--he's sooooooooo different than my three grown kids were. At his age they were quite ready to pull a bit of mischief, but not Lucas. He wants to follow every rule to the letter, and, while it's reassuring in some ways, it's both funny and maddening in other ways. I don't know if this makes any sense. It's just a vent to other moms who have kids who are different. Lucas has me shaking my head and laughing half the time. At least it beats the olden days when he used to bash his head against the walls, rage, and bite me, right? Have a good one.


New Member
Yeahhhhhhhhhh, Dylan too. He doesn't FORGET his coat anymore, but it's never, ever zippered.

Me: Dylan, please zipper your coat
Dylan: Mom, it's HOT (as I wipe the frost off my windshield LOL)
Me: Dylan, 1 more time, please zipper your coat
Dylan: Deep sigh of "geez, I HAVE to listen to her AGAIN!!!!!!!", and it's zipped, but only 1/2 way.

Honestly, MWM, I wouldn't say because of something like this he'll need assistance. You know, maybe he'll just have to learn natural consequence of don't wear coat, freezing outside, get sick. Get better, don't wear coat, freezing outside, get sick. That's what works for Dylan anyway.

I wouldn't rule him out of being able to be fully independent yet, sweetie. He could surprise you one day.

FYI - I had a guy in my office this week and he was talking to my boss about his son (who is 23 or 24). He said the word "aspie", and I asked him about it. He thought, too, his kid would NEVER make it out on his own. Surprisingly, he's got his own job, his own small apartment, and only calls mom and dad when he wants money hahaha (which is typical of any kid that age!). But, he said the kid couldn't tie his shoes on his own until he was 14. So...go figure?



Well-Known Member
LOL, Janna. Natural consequences? He's never COLD! As for bathing, honest he'd never bathe or change if we didn't make him and sometimes he gets ripe. I think it's more realistic to expect him to need some help, although nothing near the level we first thought. If he goes to work smelling like he does sometimes or doesn't change his clothes for a month, he may get You know what he does with his stinky shirts? He hangs them up again!!!! He doesn't want me to wash them.

"That laundry stuff makes me itch."

LOL, we'll see. By age 13 my other kids were VERY into their personal hygiene and appearance, afraid of being ridiculed, and interested in the opposite sex. His interests and priorities are very atypical for a child his age yet, if you knew him, you'd never think he was mentally ill. He's just different, like many kids on the autism spectrum who are higher functioning. At least I won't ever have to worry about him breaking the If I accidentally make a right turn where it says "no turn on red" he obsesses over it until I literally have to force him to stop saying, "You could have gotten a ticket! You need to be more careful!" Blllaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

Hope things are going well with you.


New Member
He sounds just like mine! I hope it gets easier on your end, I am ready to give up. Mine is at least older by a few years, though.


Former desparate mom
MWM,I understand completely. difficult child couldn't keep track of most things but he is unrelentingly dependable on some. It's so unique. My difficult child has never lost his driver's liscense, wallet, car keys, school ID's and is incredibly dependable with his contact lens. He has never run out of gas or been late for an appointment. He is religious about the rent being paid but almost never thinks about the electric(which we pay) It's not his responsibility (in his mind)

difficult child had to be reminded and reminded about dressing appropriately for the weather.

I suggested difficult child look into a group home environment if the stress of independent living were too much. He doesn't feel that he requires that amount of supervision. We will see. I want him to be happy. He is still straddling the fence but he has his keys.


Well-Known Member
I think that going coatless is partly just a "guy-thing" too. My son did this, no matter how much I got on to him. When he was little, I'd bundle him up for school and he'd take off the coats and sweaters as soon as he got on the bus. Even now, he very seldom wears a coat.


My nephews did it too. My daughter never did ... she was ALWAYS cold, just like me. My house is near the high school and the middle school and the boys I see running around in the neighborhood are usually coatless. It's a "macho" thing. Even if they WERE cold, they'd never admit it!


Well-Known Member
Fran, yep, I've been reading, with interest, the updates on your son. He seems to be hanging in there. That's sort of how I expect it to be for Lucas. Like your son, Lucas is very competent in some areas and in others he's almost like a toddler. This disinterest in bathing is disturbing because he really doesn't CARE if he smells bad, but other people will care. I guess we just have to see what happens and hope for the best. Lucas will need some prompting if he's in an apartment. He sort of won't fit in anywhere. He may struggle in his own apartment, but he's too high functioning for a group home, I'm guessing. I don't think he'll want that, but I can't predict him. If there's one thing I learned about him, it's that his development is so atypical that nothing can ever be I think that's the norm with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) :smile:


Former desparate mom
I agree. We have no way to predict but we can project. In my inner brain,I think my difficult child will have the life he wants. He trips over himself but he has actual understanding of his mistakes and tries to correct them. His path seems pretty circuitous but he is still sticking with the goal he wants.
He is less argumentative about some daily living things.


Active Member
I posted on someone else's thread on Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues. Very similar. My boys would prefer to wear the same things all day every day, including coats. difficult child 1 has a big black coat (like something out of Matrix) which he would wear even in full summer. He felt 'safe' always wearing the same things.

And difficult child 3 - we have to really PUSH him to do up his pyjama shirt, even in midwinter (we have no heating). Part of that is a guy thing, I think, but I'm not entirely sure. We're at the stage of reminding difficult child 3 to wear deodorant every day but he still gets smelly sometimes. We got past that hurdle with difficult child 1, although when he was 15 the school contacted me regularly, concerned about his slovenly appearance. As if they thought WE didn't care? But trying to get him into the bath or prise his clothes off him to wash them (he got upset because I removed the smell) was difficult. I finally told him I would get his father to put him in the bath and I would personally strip him naked and scrub him down if he didn't do it himself. That scared him into doing something. Anything but let his mother see him naked! difficult child 3, on the other hand, is modest when he remembers but often runs out of the bathroom excitedly and forgets to figleaf with his towel. And he's a growing boy, as tonight's inadvertent indecent exposure made obvious (he was looking for his underpants, he'd left them in his beach bag).

But when I remember how bad things were with difficult child 1, and how they are now, there IS hope for us all.

One of difficult child 1's favourite quotes from modern literature is from Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" books. There is a very old barbarian hero (old because he's good at surviving) who, when asked tactfully to get himself a new loincloth, replied, "Nothing wrong with this one, it's good leather - won't rot for years!" Cohen the Barbarian (aka Genghis Cohen, who leads a gang of geriatric marauders called the Silver Horde) - difficult child 1's favourite character.

And that's one more thing - you need your sense of humour to survive these kids.



New Member
I still have to "remind" NL to:
take a shower
use shampoo - twice please
use soap
change his clothing
use deodorant

every night.


New Member
I look at the coat thing as a guy thing as well. "I'm so tough I don't need a coat in freezing weather"
I remember the constant son you need your coat urgings when my difficult child was younger. I also remember when he had a coat he really liked and wore it in 80 degree weather.

As far as leaving it and it getting locked up, my easy child is constantly forgetting her coat at school or work.
Maybe there is so many other things going on that the coat is the last thing on their minds...


Well-Known Member
Skeeter, wonder if you've ever had NL tested for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I'm no expert, but seems that those little things are sort of red flags more for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) than ADD.

As for the tough guy thing, Lucas isn't like that. He couldn't care less about appearing tough. In fact, he doesn't really put on a show for anyone, his peers least of all. He didn't wear his coat for one reason: He was afraid he'd be late for the bus if he went to his locker to get it. And he is neurotic about breaking rules. I mean, this is the macho kid who said to me, "I don't know why kids pierce their ears. That would HURT." :wink:


New Member
MWM, if it is any consolation, I was still running around in a tank top and jeans no coat and was fine that way yesterday. And I live pretty close to you.
None of our middle schoolers or high schoolers wear coats here becuz they do not fit in the lockers and they are not allowed to wear them inside school, or even carry them with them, for the same reason Lucas gave you. Ours are not allowed to wear jackets or hoodies or sweaters either in school. (go figure in elem here if the kids do not have and wear snow pants coats, gloves, hats and mittens the school calls CPS to come check and make sure you are providing for yor kids and the school will not let kids without all thoe go out for recess)

BUT "successful" people do lose things all the time- and still "live on their own"
My sons science teacher took my sons brand new glasses when my son got called to office, and she lost them. they have NEVER been found. My mom owned her own very successful business and raised 5 kids, and ran the household but she had tokeep buying new glasses, cuz she ketpt losing them, and she did then keep a pair everywhere she might need them.
Our WRAP facilitator always seemed to me to be in need of a shower. And a hair combing.
Our head states attorney is always pulling off his tie and suitcoat and losing it.
LOL my dtrs Big SIster is a lawyer here and she cannot cook.
Recently I was at the laundromat and the washer at the group home musta been broken cuz they had all 8 residents from there at the laundrymat. 4 of those people at that group home also work where my easy child works. One of them trained my easy child at her job, and at the landrymat, those people did a GREAT job doing their laundry. They did it better than many of the people I see come in to the laundrymat other days.


New Member
Ya know, my oldest difficult child is bad about showering and never cared if her clothes were dirty, and I have to yell at her to clean her nails. BUT turns out she had been smoking for quite awhile and she NEVER accidentally left anything in her pockets and she peirced her tongue and I feared infection, BUT she devoutly did all the care of her tongue religiously.(I threatened tongue amuputation if it got infected) She took over repsonsibility for a medication she takes daily recently and she has been so compliant, LOL_ she set her cell phone to remind her and she freaks if she might be 30 seconds late! And while she has lost things- she never ever misplaced her cell phone.

My son, on the other hand drives me nuts- 2-3 baths per day!- yet he still always has a dirty little face.

My easy child? she drives me nuttiest of all-she loses her cell,her coats, her checkbook even. she bathes twice a day and is overly abnoixous....changes clothes several times a day. ANd while she is so neat and clean, she does not match up her clothes- and will wear the strangest things together. ANd she does not tend to fingernails or messwith her hair much, but oldest who hates bathing, she has self taught doing home acrylic nails, and coordinates cute outfits and accessories and make up. and she is very ccreative with her hair.


I have bought my son so many coats and he still comes home with nothing on, his loker must be full of clothing, but he also has been caught selling them off when he needs money, sigh........................ I have never felt so frutrated with my kdis until this year. Mostly with 15 y/o who basically has it in his head that to be a famous "rap start" he has to have a RAP SHEET!


Well-Known Member
Dreamer (and everyone reading), my daughter who really has no big problems loses things too and I have to threaten her sometimes to get her to take a shower. However, she is And she is VERY social and if even ONE person said, "You smell bad" she would cry and shower every day twice because she CARES what people think. Lucas doesn't. My other kids all went through the "I don't like to shower" bit, but they outgrew it when they started noticing the opposite sex. Lucas is so far behind other kids in social development. If he notices girls, he doesn't act like it. In fact, he doesn't act sexual at all--never caught him looking at anything suggestive or touching himself. He's more like a mature ten year old as far as development and in the social department, well, he still likes cartoons. Yes, he has an average IQ. I hope he does develop a caring of social norms because that will hold him back more than anything else. You just can't show up at a job without showeirng for a month or in the same clothes for a week. These are the reasons I see him as needing a nudge, even as an adult, unless he changes drastically. He also leaves dishes and food around and I can see him in an apartment crawling with cockroaches without him caring that much. We shall see, but I can see big differences between my other grown kids and my ten year old and Lucas. He's different. He's not mentally ill--I don't know how anybody could have labeled him that way because it's obvious that he isn't. But he's different.


New Member
LOL- in day treatment they always told me if it bothers someone else- thats THEIR problem. They kept telling us in day treatment not to act only becuz something bothers someone else.
Loseing things or not having the "perfect" hygeine are not life threatening issues in life.- nor are tey necessarily indicators of how well a person functions.
ACTually our culture and our society here overbathes, over grooms-to the point it is unhealthy. Lucas may hevae different personal priorities and may prefer to use his interal resources and energy for different issues than someone else.

I know that many of the hugest advocates and vollunteers i have met are far too busy to be bothered ever vacuming, washing their house floors, foldingtheir laundry "corectly" or ironing.
Lucas focus and attention may be entirely different issues that to him are more important than whether he bathed or if he has his coat when he does not even feel coldd at the moment.

Does he bathe when told to?
If so, maybe you could simply make it a scheduled activity.

SOmething else to think about? Maybe Lucas does not judge others by their hygeine but rather by their morals ad compasson. Thats not all bad, not al bad a al.


call 911
My son had SO many lost coats that he was to be suspended from school for "stealing" from the lost and found because : "If I come home ONE MORE TIME without a coat my Mom is going to KILL me and belive me I'd rather take a chance of stealing a lost and found coat than making HER mad ONE MORE TIME." when the principal heard that...he called me and said "NOW....I've heard them all." (excuses)

But difficult child was right....5 coats in one year.

And I heard, It's heavy, I forgot it, It's not cold out, I'm hot, I don't like it, It's too small, It's too big, It's itchy, It makes swishy noises, I look like a &*^ in it, Someone stole it, I lost it..and you can't imagine other ladies..

My advice:

Pick your battles, go to the Salvation Army (Most coats $3-5) and letitgo.

I finally gave up on the coat battle, and got him a sweatshirt jacket that he could wear all day and was small enought to shove in a book bag. When we went to Ohio? It was 13 degrees....and he wore the sweatshirt. He's young, he's got more engergy and when he gets really cold? He can come inside. I'm done worrying about it and have been for years.

I figure if you're not cold I'm not shoving a coat on you. I'm also not going to worry about how you get warm either. And if you forgot your coat, and I'm having PMS...tough cookies....the AC will remain on in the car with the windows down and you can just deal with it, with your mouth shut.

Nuf sed.
Midwest Mom,

I've tried to respond to this post two times. This is my third attempt. I definitely can relate to what you are saying. I can relate so well that I took too long answering the first time and was unable to submit it. The second time husband came home from a fundraising event. ( I was supposed to go to but couldn't because of difficult child 2). He won $200 in a raffle, spent $25 before he got home and gave me $100.

Anyway, here goes, my third attempt... difficult child 2 does so well academically. It is mind boggling(is this a real word?) how he can put his left shoe on his right foot and won't even notice unless someone mentions it to him. He puts his shirts on inside out and backwards and once again, would never notice it, if someone didn't mention it to him.

difficult child 2 hates being cold. He has been known to put on a fleece jacket in 80 degree weather. And, no, he wasn't sick!!! He just thought he needed a jacket. HELP!!!

difficult child 2 would still watch Barney if other kids wouldn't tease him. He'll be 15 soon. He would wear the same tee shirt and jeans every day of the week if he could. He doesn't care about girls at all. This has easy child in a state of shock.

I could go on and on and on but I'm afraid I'll get "timed out" again and won't be able to submit this. So, I'll briefly move on to difficult child 1. difficult child 1 would never shower or brush his teeth if he didn,t have to. He'll be 16 soon. difficult child 1 could care less about his appearance except when he is extremely manic. Only when he is manic, does he care about his appearance or girls.

Anyway, you're right - you have to laugh!!! Got to find humor wherever you can... Hang in there...WFEN