Autism and Sensory Processing: Shoes, Socks and Clothes

Time just flew out the window! It’s been a regular morning,  and the one and a half hour time limit to get to school is totally unrealistic this morning. He will be late for school. The clothes have not been washed the night before. I feel like the most disorganised mum this morn because the daily wash was not done. I feel like I couldn’t even buy a ticket in a chook raffle! I am fallible and I forgot to wash his clothes last night. Actually I wash every night because my son insists he must wear the same clothes. Exactly the same, everyday!

Mum: “Why do you have to wear the same set of clothes?”

Kiddo: “Because they feel right.!”

Mum: “But your clothes are getting holes in them!”

Kiddo: “They feel right Mum.”

Mum:”Why do you have to wear the same set of socks (until they have worn out?) Why is any other sock not good enough?”

Kiddo:”It doesn’t feel right mum!”

Mum: “Darling boy, you have 10 pairs of socks! They are all exactly the same colour and size. Made exactly the same way. Why can’t you wear a pair or even one of your other socks!”

Kiddo: “Mum! I know my socks! And any of the other socks are just not right!a’

I can feel the tick tock of the clock! But it doesn’t matter this morn because I will not be stressed by time pressure this morn. There’s a procedure to putting the clothes on. The socks must go on first in a certain order and spacing on the floor. My son must stand in the lounge for  minutes, until it feels right, and then put them on. I don’t get it. Where is this feeling? It’s a mystery to me but happens every morn. To avoid this anxiety sequence and associated vocal stress release, my dear son does not want to take his shoes off – ever! I am his mother and I have to look after his well-ness, I explain the shoes must come off at night so your feet breath.

There are different times where my son is upset because there are holes in his socks. I explain that washing the socks every night means the sock weave will lose fibres faster. My boy does not get that things change.

“Mum, there are holes in my socks!”

“Mum, how did the holes get in my socks!”

Mum, I can never wear my socks again because there are holes in them which means I can’t put my shoes on – ever!a’

“That means I can’t go to school!!”

Mum: “I love you son.”



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