Yesterday, I met Brandon for lunch. It was a sizzling 105 degree day. Most people I know don’t like it that hot and Brandon and I would have to agree with them.
When Brandon got in my car he couldn’t stop talking about the heat and how hot he was. I looked at him and he was dressed in a pair of shorts and a light short sleeve shirt and then I noticed he had a very heavy, hooded winter sweatshirt tied around his waist.
I said, “Brandon, you might want to take off your sweatshirt, as it is heavy and is causing you to feel even warmer.” He said, “Mom, Don’t tell me what to do – I am not a baby.” Then, he gave me the look to leave him alone. I didn’t say another word about his sweatshirt until he repeated himself about twenty five more times, “I can’t stand the heat anymore.” I said, “Brandon, try to take off your sweatshirt and see if it makes a difference, you can always put it back on.” He shot me another look of leave me alone and begrudgingly took off his sweatshirt and said, “Mom, it’s a little cooler.”
While lying in bed that night I gave it a lot of thought why Brandon was so unwilling to give up his sweatshirt. Then it hit me! He always wears a sweatshirt, because he lives down by the beach. I believe it is similar to a security blanket. He likes being prepared and if he is out for a long period of time and the weather changes, he has a sweatshirt to keep him warm.
Being respectful, and accepting the way people do things differently is extremely important. As you can see, after being on the autism path with Brandon for over thirty-seven years, I am still learning.