So I took Punkin to his dance class again today and it went pretty well. But that's not really the point. We arrived about 10 minutes early and after settling into our seats, a little boy from his class came up and asked me, "Is Punkin going to wear that black suit again?"
it took me a second to register that he was talking about his
compression vest. It's made by Spio and is amazing, although slightly
difficult to put on. It's several pieces, one piece for the torso and a
leotard type piece to wear over his legs. "I don't know. If he wants to
wear it, he will."
"Why does he wear that thing?" Now
I'm wondering where this kid's parent is, because normally by now
they've intervened. Everyone in the waiting room is staring at us, so I
have no clue how to proceed. I don't mind the question, I just have no
idea if it's okay to engage this boy.
"Well, he wears
it because it helps his body feel better." He stares at me. "You know
how tags on your clothes or bright lights or really hot weather outside
can bother you?" He nods. "Those things bother Punkin a lot. So he wears
the suit sometimes to help his body to calm down and feel better."
everyone is really staring at us and I feel like I'm now the
spokesperson for sensory integration disorder. "But what does it feel
like? Why does he like it?"
"It feels like a big hug. It helps him to feel calm."
is he gonna wear it?" And that's where the conversation ended, because
someone else he knew said hello and his mom/sister/caretaker pulled him
away and told him to be mindful of other people's space.
was weird. It left me feeling oddly defensive. I wanted to yell,
"Because he wants to and it's none of your beeswax!" But he's a kid.
And honestly, he must have had needs of his own or he wouldn't have been
there. I don't mind the asking, I just never feel prepared to answer. I
guess it just reminded me that if this kid noticed a difference and
thought he was strange, then a lot of kids must notice. And then I worry
about bullies. *Sigh* We've come so far, but we still have a lot of
work to do.