Do you ever fear cps will be called by someone who has no idea what is happening? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 02-15-2011, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The short version is that ds is having mega sensory/autism issues right now and will not wear any shirts or socks. He is wearing his snow boots to school, which is an improvement. For school they have let him take off his shirt and just wear his winter coat zipped up, just to get through the day.

I am terrified that somebody is going to call cps saying that I dont properly dress my kid. I send shirts in his backpack every day (and I fight to get a shirt on him before he gets to school, it's the school who lets him take it off when he is there).

So 2 questions- what can we do to get him wearing clothes again? Every single shirt we've tried he says hurts. And what can we do to protect ourselves from a cps call from someone who doesn't know what is going on?
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#2 of 20 Old 02-15-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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 I think most of us with SN kids worry about someone calling CPS on us. I would protect myself with a written letter from my doctor expressing that my childis well cared for and properly dressed...AND that you respect his sensory issues and are trying to work WITH him to ensure his needs are met and respected.

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#3 of 20 Old 02-15-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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Is he the kind of kid who likes to feel clothes on him tightly? my niece was like that- constantly said that any clothes that were not skin tight were uncomfortable.  If that's the case- maybe a bathing suit-type board shirt (like the t-shirt style suit surf boarders wear?)... even a size or two too small, under a regular shirt?  If he hates to feel any type of weight on him from a shirt, maybe something in a different material... like a very light almost night-gown type material? (sorry I can't describe it any better than that)...or would he wear a tank top so there was less on his arms? Not exactly seasonal, but maybe better than naked :)  If he doesn't mind the winter coat zipped up all the way, is it that he actually likes the feeling of the weight of the coat and the softness around him?  maybe he'd be willing to try something like a heavy, lined zip up hoodie.  Sorry if none of those work... just trying to brainstorm.

 

As for what to do about the CPS issue... I can probably be a bit more helpful there.  There is nothing you can do to stop someone from calling to make a report, but that doesn't mean that CPS will ever do anything more than ask you a couple of questions (if it even when that far). I'd just have some sort of documentation (or just informal paper trail) about the issue so that if anyone asks you can show them that this is a real issue and not neglect.  Emails back and forth to school discussing it?  Photocopied notes from the pediatrician visit where you discussed it with  your doctor?  Pretty much anything should be OK, I believe- even in the unlikely event that CPS was called, some sort of "evidence" that you've been working on this issue and that it is a real "thing" that isn't mom created is probably the most they'd ever even need.  I imagine it would be sort of like a child who WOULD. NOT. EAT or something... if CPS was called b/c a teacher or someone was worried that the parents weren't feeding the child, but then the parents could demonstrate taht, in fact, they'd been working hard with their therapist on this very issue, I'm sure it would be fine.

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#4 of 20 Old 02-15-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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Maybe a tight "hug" shirt like this?: http://funandfunction.com/short-sleeve-sensational-hug-blue-shirt-p-1423.html

 

My son has clothing issues too, he hates wearing pants and underwear.  He at least will wear them out of the house, but at home he's constantly nakey from the waist down :)

 

I too worry about CPS being called.  My son has very loud raging tantrums and our house is not very well insulated.  Once I was outside on the sidewalk and was shocked at how much noise I could hear coming from my house.  Often I'm seriously worried that someone will hear him screaming and raging and call the cops :(


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#5 of 20 Old 02-15-2011, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm on my phone so I can't quote.

We've tried all different kinds of shirts with him- long sleeve, short sleeve, loose, tight (like the under armor), turtle neck, low neck, button up, ect. Nothing is working for him right now. We've been through this plenty of times with him, but we can usually find one kind that he likes and stick with that for awhile (his biggest phases have been plain white t-shirts.... For years! And the under armour shirts for a few months). This time he is complaining about how they feel as well as something about the neckline. He wanted something that covers his neck up to his chin but then he says that it is "too loose" and flips out.

he's actually in between doctors right now (change in insurance) so I cant really get a now from them. I could probably get one from his private ot as well as people from his school (regular teachers, special ed teacher, ot who works with him there, ect).

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#6 of 20 Old 02-15-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

he's actually in between doctors right now (change in insurance) so I cant really get a now from them. I could probably get one from his private ot as well as people from his school (regular teachers, special ed teacher, ot who works with him there, ect).


I'd just make sure you have the contact number for his last doctor and when he was last treated there. Doctors are required to keep patient records for years--CPS could contact the doctor directly.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#7 of 20 Old 02-16-2011, 12:16 AM
 
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I don't have an answer but wanted to send my support your way. It's tough when our kids have extreme sensory issues. There are some companies that make special seamless clothes that may work for him. SOFT has a great line and some of their shirts have a very seamless neckline. Could be an option for you.

 

I've got a friend with 3 daughters. 2 are SPD and they have polar opposite clothing issues. One can't stand anything that's tight around wrists or ankles, the other won't wear anything that is in any way loose or flapping on any part of her body. It's interesting how different sensory challenges can be even in one family. My DD has some clothing stuff.She hates anything with a snug waistline so all her pants are loose elastic, jersey knit or leggings a size too big. Oddly though, she WILL NOT wear dresses or skirts at all. MUST be pants or shorts even with the waistline thing.


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#8 of 20 Old 02-16-2011, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again. Unfortunately I think part of the problem is lack in consistency. On Monday (the first day of this recent issue) ds took off his shirt at school so they wouldn't let him back in his classroom (he stayed in the special ed resource room with the special ed teacher and his OT). They called me and dh and I went over to the school for a couple hours to help. Eventually we got his shirt back on him and took him back to his classroom (where he did okay for the last couple hours at school but kept his neck of his shirt in his mouth the whole time, his way of protesting). Yesterday I put a shirt on him before school (though it was hard to get it on, I insisted he wear it). He pulled the bottom all the way up to his armpits and, again, stuck the neckline in his mouth. When he got to school I told him that he either had to pull his shirt down or he had to keep his coat on top of his shirt, because he couldn't show his belly in school. He chose to keep his coat on (over top of his shirt). Fine, whatever. But then a couple hours later his regular ed teacher called me and said that his whole shirt was soaking wet (because he wouldn't take it out of his mouth) so she let him take off his shirt and just wear his coat. Okay.... not what I would have done (I would have made him wear the wet shirt, especially since he wasn't fighting with her!). I know his teacher was just trying to make him more comfortable (she is a huge sweetheart) but I don't think she understood the full affect of what she did.

 

So then today comes and of course he doesn't want to wear a shirt because he's already learned that his teacher won't make him wear it. Since she totally went over my head and basically told ds he didn't have to wear a shirt, there's not much I can do about it. So I put on his coat (no shirt) and took him to school today. Unfortunately his teacher wasn't there today (doh!). When I was dropping him off his special ed teacher was waiting for him. She told him that he had to wear a shirt (see- no consistency!!). I don't know everything that happened (she told me to go run my errands and she would call if/when she needs help). She called a little bit ago and said that he was wearing his shirt now but that it had been a big struggle (that ended with her getting bit.... twice greensad.gif ). Apparently she was giving him his reward for getting his shirt on and then she was going to take him back to his class. Who knows if he'll actually keep his shirt on.

 

He did tell me this morning that he likes the feeling of his coat because it's "smooth and cold". The inside of his coat has that thin really shiny fabric layer- ya know what I mean? I guess that's what he likes about his coat versus shirts? The closest shirt I can think of that would replicate that would be the under armour shirts, but he complains about those too (I think that's what his teacher got him to wear today though, and I know he wore one for part of yesterday so those shirts aren't quite as offensive as the regular cotton shirts).


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#9 of 20 Old 02-16-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
So then today comes and of course he doesn't want to wear a shirt because he's already learned that his teacher won't make him wear it. Since she totally went over my head and basically told ds he didn't have to wear a shirt, there's not much I can do about it. So I put on his coat (no shirt) and took him to school today. Unfortunately his teacher wasn't there today (doh!). When I was dropping him off his special ed teacher was waiting for him. She told him that he had to wear a shirt (see- no consistency!!). I don't know everything that happened (she told me to go run my errands and she would call if/when she needs help). She called a little bit ago and said that he was wearing his shirt now but that it had been a big struggle (that ended with her getting bit.... twice greensad.gif ). Apparently she was giving him his reward for getting his shirt on and then she was going to take him back to his class. Who knows if he'll actually keep his shirt on.

 

He did tell me this morning that he likes the feeling of his coat because it's "smooth and cold". The inside of his coat has that thin really shiny fabric layer- ya know what I mean? I guess that's what he likes about his coat versus shirts? The closest shirt I can think of that would replicate that would be the under armour shirts, but he complains about those too (I think that's what his teacher got him to wear today though, and I know he wore one for part of yesterday so those shirts aren't quite as offensive as the regular cotton shirts).


This is something that should be a part of your 504/IEP (for consistency). If wearing a shiny coat makes him able to function in a classroom and there isn't a legitimate safety concern (like overheating--for which you can try a lighter coat) then why are they choosing this to battle over? They aren't his doctor or his therapist.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#10 of 20 Old 02-16-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. hug2.gif

 

I've no advice, but this did get better with age. My 14 year old DD ALWAYS wears a shirt now! winky.gif

 

(We are still working on shoes other than sandals. Thankfully, we live in a fairly warm climate.)


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#11 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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I've no advice, but this did get better with age. My 14 year old DD ALWAYS wears a shirt now! winky.gif

 

 



Tee hee! cute!  My son has gone through such similar phases too. The white T shirt was big for us for a long time too. I remember even going to check out the under armour shirts after reading your posts way back, just to see if they may work for us too. My sons favourite shirts now are slippery cool fabrics that are ment for wicking away moisture when playing sports. I found them while thrift shopping, so I don't know where they sell them. They are silky slippery and cool. the tags are cut out , so I can't even check for fabric content! Sorry. Something that helps him is wearing a long shirt and then a tighter Tshirt on top. We got some transfer paper at an office supply shop( the iron on type) and found images he liked online and made our own shirts.( with the white Tshirts!) and they turn out beautiful. This way we could  make ones with nice art pertaining to the interest of the moment. ( they have quirky interests... one we did with the zombie food pyramid on it)Because he helped through the process of making them, they were special , therefore he had more motivation to wear them.


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#12 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. hug2.gif

 

I've no advice, but this did get better with age. My 14 year old DD ALWAYS wears a shirt now! winky.gif

 

(We are still working on shoes other than sandals. Thankfully, we live in a fairly warm climate.)


lol.gif Thanks for the giggle! And I have to say it's funny you mentioned sandals..... ds has been insisting on wearing his winter boots the past few days. Today I get a phone call from his teacher saying that he's refusing to do any work unless I bring him some sandals. WTH?! LOL!

 

 

So the poor kid is apparently falling asleep constantly at school this week. I don't understand because he's been sleeping at night. We've been putting him to bed early so he's getting plenty of sleep. Yesterday I went to pick him up and he was on the floor, sitting, with his knees up and his forehead on his knees- sleeping. I'm almost wondering if I need to take him back to the neurologist for another check-up. It's been mentioned that they thought he was having "absence seizures" but that was years ago and they never followed up with it, just told us to keep an eye on it.


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#13 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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We did have a moment this year that caused me to wonder if I was in trouble with the law. Although where we live is fairly warm, we are surrounded by mountains and it snows in the mountains. While driving through the mountains, I decided to pull over and let the kids play in the snow for a minute. DD was of course wearing sandals and no coat. A sheriffs patrol SUV pulled over and my heart sank, terrified that I would be questioned why one child was wearing boats, coat, hat, etc., while one child look very neglected (and yet happy). He only wanted to tell me that one of my tail lights was burned out.

 

I don't know if part of the reason that he didn't mention my DD's clothing was her age. She's reached a point where a lot of kids, even NT one's, make really stupid clothing choices and the parents ignore it because you gotta choose your battles with a teen.

 

Is your little guy going through a growth spurt? That can throw child off, and of course with ASD, off is usually further off.


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#14 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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what about a silky jersy like soccer tshirt? those remind me of the inside of a coat and you can get them in a v-neck usually which would be nice and wide?
http://www.championusa.com/Champion/Products/Kids-Champion/Kids_ShopByCategory-Champion/Kids_Apparel-Champion/CN316.aspx
http://www.championusa.com/Champion/Products/Kids-Champion/Kids_ShopByCategory-Champion/Kids_Apparel-Champion/C30115.aspx

do they make silk button up shirts for little boys?


  

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#15 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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The lack of consistency can be so hard to deal with. I'd say, sensory issues aside, that's the biggest issue we've had with ds. He has such a hard time mentally dealing with changes in consistency between caregivers. It's never malicious; sometimes even the smallest comment from one person will become his hill to die on and no one else will even remember who said it in the first place!

 

As far as CPS goes, I know I can't stop anyone from calling, and one of our neighbors is the kind of person who would call "out of the god-given concern she has for that poor little child" (i.e. she decided not to pay dh for over $1000 in computer programming services he provided for her business and we now know she does this a lot and tends to then go on the offensive against people she's ripped off so she looks like the victim...great....). I'm really chatty with all of ds's caregivers and give them constant updates on what we're doing with him and when he's gone to see anyone for check-ups or special services. I explain every boo-boo and odd clothing choice. I deliberately overshare, but I know that if I ever needed letters attesting that we don't neglect his care, I could come up with at least 5 professionals who could write those letters very easily.

 

It sucks to feel like we need to do that, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

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#16 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The lack of consistency can be so hard to deal with. I'd say, sensory issues aside, that's the biggest issue we've had with ds. He has such a hard time mentally dealing with changes in consistency between caregivers. It's never malicious; sometimes even the smallest comment from one person will become his hill to die on and no one else will even remember who said it in the first place!

 

As far as CPS goes, I know I can't stop anyone from calling, and one of our neighbors is the kind of person who would call "out of the god-given concern she has for that poor little child" (i.e. she decided not to pay dh for over $1000 in computer programming services he provided for her business and we now know she does this a lot and tends to then go on the offensive against people she's ripped off so she looks like the victim...great....). I'm really chatty with all of ds's caregivers and give them constant updates on what we're doing with him and when he's gone to see anyone for check-ups or special services. I explain every boo-boo and odd clothing choice. I deliberately overshare, but I know that if I ever needed letters attesting that we don't neglect his care, I could come up with at least 5 professionals who could write those letters very easily.

 

It sucks to feel like we need to do that, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


Very true. We just had a meeting after school today (me, dh, ds's 2 regular ed teachers and his special ed teacher). We all came to an agreement on what we're going to do so hopefully the consistency will help now. Unfortunately they don't have school on Monday so, of course, his routine will be thrown off again. ARGH!


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#17 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I have had this fear so many times. DS refuses to wear shoes other than crocs or rainboots, neither of which are practical year round and neither of which stay on his feet once indoors. He will keep them on outside, but get him in the store etc and off they go. I don't know how many nosy strangers have told me he needed to wear his shoes at the grocery store etc. Or that his rainboots are too hot for Texas summers. I want to say, "You try." Usually I just smile and say he doesn't like shoes. He will also undress himself instantly if he gets even a drop of water on his clothes. 

 

He's also known to have some giant temper tantrums, especially  at transitions, like getting into the car. He's not quite four and has a sister a bit less than two years younger. I don't know how many times I would have to pick him up at some awkward angle while wearing the baby and have him kick, scream, wiggle and hit me and how many people gave me dirty looks while I struggled to get both kids in the car safely. 

 

I think all  you can do is be ready. Be sure to have any reports from the doctors available, contact information for anyone who works with him all in one place and ready to go. I think it helps you that it sounds like at this point, this issue has been at school, where they know what is going on with your son. Of course you have the to/ from and anywhere else you go and nosy neighbors you encounter on the way. Good luck with it all. 


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#18 of 20 Old 02-17-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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OP- I saw this from the main page and just felt you needed a hug!  I work in job where I'm mandated to report abuse and neglect.  However, I don't rush to make a call unless I know a child is in immediate danger. (i.e. a child has told me they are being abused or I see physical and/or emotional signs of abuse).  I hope the people caring for your child has a good relationship with you and your child to know that you care for him and his well being.  I don't see any reason to call CPS on a random person because the kid isn't wearing the proper shoes.  I just think of my mom who had 3 young children who went through various phases of not wanting to wear shoes and coats.


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#19 of 20 Old 02-18-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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I wouldn't worry at all.  I also have a kid who frequently wears minimal clothing and I don't worry.  I've worked in child welfare and I give it about a .000001% chance that CPS would investigate a report of just that.  They are way too busy with other things.  If they did happen to investigate, a simple call to the school or whoever else knows your child well would close the investigation in a heart beat.  Not wearing clothing can be a sign of neglect, obviously, but it can also be a sign of a kid who doesn't want to wear clothes ;). 

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#20 of 20 Old 02-21-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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My stepson with AS is nearly 12, and we have been discussing this issue for some time at our house.  I am also a mandated reported so I know this issue from the other side too.  Sadly, my step son has, at times, accused various people of "abusing him" when he gets overwhelmed or his sensory issues are really out of whack.  Luckily, this is a documented pattern with his therapist, but more than once we have wondered.  We have imagined how difficult it would be to explain this issue to a third party who doesn't know us or him.

 

We haven't done it yet, but our plan is to take him to the local police station and introduce him to the officers there.  Then we will follow up that visit with a letter explaining his diagnoses and giving lots of information.  He is really big for his age, and can be aggressive so we are trying to be proactive.  We also have a family member who is a police officer in the city where is mom lives and he is the one would call on if something ever came up when he is there.

 

We also should probably know what legal counsel we would call right away if something did happen... but we haven't found the right fit for that yet.

 

I agree with other posters that the clothing issue is unlikely to be an issue, and even if reported, unlikely to be followed up on... but I would be ready and thinking ahead to when your child is older and out in the world without you.  The AS parenting lists I'm on make me think that some sort of issue involving either CPS or the legal system is very likely in our future.


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