Posted in Fun Side of Nick, Speech and Occupational Therapy

Blog #82~Hats off to Nick

Blog #82~Hats off to Nick

I’m sitting in the kitchen looking out the window. The sun is gleaming across the snow covered yard but it’s deceiving as the thermometer reads -1 degree.  Nick is home as the school district declared yet another snow day.  So we are hunkered down as this polar arctic blast paralyzes the city and a large portion of the country.

artic blast

I’m a Texas girl, when the temps dropped down to 50 degrees I use to whine. The whole state shuts down when hit with snow and ice……..

texas ice storm

However all that has changed since living in Chicago.  My threshold has altered significantly.  The other day I headed out to teach a spin class, it was 29 degrees. I felt like I didn’t need a coat.  One thing I have to say about Nick is that no matter what the thermometer says he is always barefoot around the house.

IMG01 (2)

Even in the dead of winter he has never liked wearing hats and gloves.  A 6 year old Nick taking on the backyard hill……..

nick sledding

Many of my friends who have children with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism can relate.  We can tell you at least one story about our youngsters stripping down buck naked for no apparent reason.  That’s how our kids roll. Boy am I glad those naked days are over with Nick, especially this winter.  As long as I can remember, it has been nearly impossible to keep hats, gloves and shoes on Nick in the winter.  My friend, Susie use to share stories about Nick when the bus pulled up to get her son.  As soon as the door opened, out came a flying shoe. Hardy har har…..  Susie would have to pluck it out of the snow and hand it back to the bus aid.  Well played Nick, well played 🙂

Nick and hats, they just don’t go together.  He barely keeps one on from the walk out the front door to the bus.  He won’t wear his jacket hood either.  His occupational therapist has been working with him to put them on independently along with tolerating it for longer periods of time.  He’s getting a little better with it. When I picked him up the other day, he sat patiently wearing both a hat and gloves.   I asked the OT, how she got him to put them on.  She said, “I told Nick, its cold outside, put these on”.  Funny how they listen to the therapists and become compliant.   So I’ve been leaving a variety of hats sitting out in case he wants to try one on.  Over the past month or so, he is actually giving them a go.


This morning he put on his Dad’s gloves……

IMG01 (3)

I wish he would wear hats more.  He looks so cute in them. This one lasted well over 15 minutes.  Bravo Nick!


But for now, I’ll just be satisfied for him to keep a hat on outside in the subzero elements. Hat’s off to Nick for trying to keep them on longer.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.  Stay warm my friends and let’s hope the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow! 🙂




Teresa is the Author of "A New Course: A Mother's Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism" and the mother of two boys. Her youngest son, Nick is 29 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). Teresa's passion is helping others understand and navigate co-occurring Down syndrome and autism. She is a DS-ASD consultant, advocate, speaker, and author. Follow Nick's world on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice of Autism and on Twitter @tjunnerstall. For more information and media links, visit

2 thoughts on “Blog #82~Hats off to Nick

  1. Max got his shoes and socks off during a bus ride home last week. Luckily they didn’t end up in the snow – ha! He too, is always barefoot at home and won’t wear hats or gloves.

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