This January, I get to FINALLY be the cool kid.
Of course, I’ll be 38 by then, which pretty much shoots down the “kid” part – and I’ll probably never be “cool,” so…I guess I’d better be really grateful to Autism Asperger’s Digest for asking me to be…
The AUTISM WORLD’S FIRST ASPIE-TO-ASPIE COLUMNIST FOR TWEENS & TEENS!
Their editor was so impressed with “The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens & Teens”
…and the international response to it from kids, tweens, teens and even (definitely no-longer “young”) adults, that she envisioned an ongoing format for me to talk TO tween & teens on the spectrum, not ABOUT them.
LOVE IT. Because EVERY WEEK, I get questions about the stuff of growing up Aspie – and as someone who did, in fact, survive the experience, I’m super-proud to have the chance to share what I learned.
AND – there’s more! I’m going to be starting a series of FOR TEENS podcasts, which will be available on iTunes for free…so if you think your Asper-less-of-a-kid won’t READ the book or magazine yet…no worries. Suddenly, I’m gonna be iPhone/iPod friendly! Info to come!!!!
OK, part of what I’m going to do in the column is answer REAL questions from REAL young people. Let me give you a taste….let’s mention the “unmentionables.”
Q. My mom says it’s time for me to start wearing a bra. The trouble is that everything she buys is way too uncomfortable to wear. I’ve tried on sports bras, but they’re too tight. I’ve tried loads of regular bras, too, and I can’t handle the buckle and hooks..they drive me crazy so I can’t even think straight. My mom’s being really nice, only she says she doesn’t have any more ideas. Do you? – M., age 12
A. Yeah, real bras aren’t quite as practical as all those under-dressed, under-supported superheroes would have you believe, are they?
Getting used to wearing a bra is kind of a mind and body experience. It’s a marker of real change, and that can bring up a lot of real feelings – some good, maybe even some confused. Be sure you talk with someone you trust if you need to. You won’t be the first to feel ANYTHING, I promise. That also goes for other girls: if you WISH your mom would buy you a bra, even if you don’t “need” one. If other girls are wearing them and no one at your house has offered to get you one, it’s OK to ask. Just explain it will make you feel “more comfortable.”
But if your mom is on board (like yours is!) and the trouble is sensory – then this is a no-brainer to solve…even though you might think it sounds strange.
What you want to get is called a “leisure” or “sleeping bra,” although you can absolutely wear them when you are wide awake. Basically, the fit is soft cotton, the support is gentle (not squashy) and there are NO HOOKS OR BUCKLES involved. The “sounds strange” part is that these are usually sold to women who have JUST had babies. Often, new mothers’ want extra-comfy support because their bodies feel super-sensitive – which is how Aspies’ bodies may ALWAYS feel! So, the need (and solution) is pretty darned-similar.
Here are a few links to some pretty picks…one of them will definitely work for you.
And be sure to thank your mom. It’s fantastic that you have such a “supportive” (ha ha) gal on your side. XO, Jennifer