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My Step-daughter Sleeps Naked from the Waist Down!!!!!!!!

My step daughter who is 9 years old has Asbergers Syndrome. Although she has a few "quirks" about her she is a sweet little girl. Because of her Asbergers her skin is sensitive to certain clothing such as tags, certain fabrics, etc. Recently when she was at our house I discovered that she sleeps naked from the waist down. After she has had her bath she puts on a t-shirt and baggy pants and when she gets in bed for the night...off go her pants. I talked to both my husband (her biological father) and her mother about this and they seemed to think that its no big deal and just another one of her "quirks". I also have two daughters of my own in the same household ages 9 and 6. I have expressed my concerns to her parents and I don't think they see my concerns. I have told them that this behavior is not appropriate and the longer they let her behave this way the harder it will be to break her of them. Please give me some advice. Am I overreacting?

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Sleeping without bottoms is not a behavior (or even a quirk) it is simply a preference and a matter of comfort. I think you are seriously overreacting.

4 moms found this helpful

I don't understand you concern either. She is covering herself when appropriate when she is awake around the rest of the family and she is covered when she is asleep by her sheets. Many kids (and adults for that mater) seep naked.

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I also have to agree that unless she is exposing herself to the rest of the family (ie. walking to the bathroom naked in the middle of the night) I don't think it should be an issue. Maybe longer sleep shirts is a good idea.

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I grew up being told that it was better to sleep bare-bottomed. Why don't you buy some long t-shirts or a nightgown for her? It's not going to hurt her, or anyone else, for her to be bare-bottomed as long as she's not walking around like that (and it sounds as though she waits until she's in bed to take off her pants?), it isn't bothering anybody else.
I find it a little sad that you pointed out that despite the fact she's 'defective' she's still a sweet girl (that's how it sounded to me!). I would suggest that maybe this is something you need to adjust to rather than expecting her to adjust to YOUR expectations.

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I don't think it is cause for concern as long as she is not exposed around the house. I mean are you girls able to see her nakedness or something? As far as the habit goes, I think it is fine, some people sleep in the buff every night. Now if it is like a family thing that she can be seen naked by other members then I can see that at your house you might need to request she wear something, but at her home I think she should be able to sleep however she feels comfy. There is nothing actually wrong with sleeping without clothing in my opinion. Hope it all works out:)

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You are overreacting. Let it go, its not your call to make. Lots of people sleep naked, that does not make them weirdos.

4 moms found this helpful

Sleeping without bottoms is not a behavior (or even a quirk) it is simply a preference and a matter of comfort. I think you are seriously overreacting.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm not really clear on what your concern is exactly either. Some doctors recommend that girls/women sleep that way to allow air to help prevent yeast infections. Of course when she starts her period she'll need to wear something then. Unless she's walking around the house making others uneasy with her attire (or lack thereof), I would let her be comfortable to sleep. I don't see anything to "break" her of.

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Why is this an issue? Like the other posters, I have been told that it is healthier to sleep without panties. This doesn't even seem like a quirk to me, and certainly nothing to be shamed over.

If she were parading around the house without being covered that would be a different issue. Make sure she has a longer t-shirt or a nice night gown, and either pants or a robe to cover with when she is out of bed. It might be time for a nice gift of a pretty robe for all the girls... a way to handle it positively.

To me, if she is only sleeping this way, this is no issue.

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I think this is absolutely fine. Its her body, its her bed. If thats what she needs to do to sleep comfortably, she's entitled to that.

I don't understand what you see as inappropriate about it? Perhaps a cultural/American thing. I'm from a European background and I think its totally okay.

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Have you though about joining an Asperger's Support Group? I don't see the problem with what she is doing--I have a "normal" two year old that wants to strip naked in the grocery store--but, it is clearly distressing you.

Perhaps a group might help you understand more what is "normal" for an Asperger's child and you can learn new coping techniques.

This may be just be a phase, but it may be something to be addressed now since Asperger's can cause a lack of awareness about personal space.

You can also use this as a teaching to your daugther's about accepting those who behave differently than they do.

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I don't understand you concern either. She is covering herself when appropriate when she is awake around the rest of the family and she is covered when she is asleep by her sheets. Many kids (and adults for that mater) seep naked.

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My 11 year old son takes a shower, puts on a t-shirt and boxers then goes to bed, however, as soon as the lights are out and he is tucked in off come the clothes. I now know not to yank the covers off in the morning to get him up lol. He prefers to sleep in his birthday suit, I have no idea why but he does. He isn't hurting anyone and he is a normal boy. His dad actually prefers to sleep the same way. Personally I can't sleep that way, but that is my own personal thing. She isn't hurting anyone by sleeping this way, there are way bigger issues out there, I would let it go. IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL. :)

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I honestly don't see what the big deal is. What should it matter if she is sleeping in her own room by herself? I often sleep in just a t-shirt and panties! My daughters are 5 and (almost) 3 and as soon as it starts to get warm like it is now, they usually wear a t-shirt and pull-ups/panties to bed. My husband's sisters are twin 12 yr olds and I know that they often sleep in just t-shirt and panties as well. It's nothing sexual, if that's what you're thinking. It's a matter of being comfortable and cool. If there is a problem with her getting up and walking around the house like that, buy her a robe and tell her that she either has to wear the robe or put on pants before leaving her room.

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I also have to agree that unless she is exposing herself to the rest of the family (ie. walking to the bathroom naked in the middle of the night) I don't think it should be an issue. Maybe longer sleep shirts is a good idea.

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Yes, you're overreacting....what's the big deal about her sleeping naked fromt the waist down? It doesn't hurt anyone or anything and is done in the privacy of her room.....I think with all the things one has to do to accomodate a child with asperger's, this is VERY MINOR!!!! Let it go!
L.
Early Development and Education Specialist

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hi. The skin sensitivities can be very uncomfortable. Imagine sleeping on sandpaper.... If that's the quirkiest thing she does, I'd be grateful... as long as she's not doing it in front of anyone else, I say try to just come to terms with it...

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I do not see a problem as long as she does not walk around like that.

My mother told us a long time ago (in the 70's) that her gynecologist suggest we sleep bare bottomed.. I wear short night gowns all year round cause I am very warm natured.

You could purchase some longer night shirts, but this is really not a big deal.

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Personally I think you are overreacting. Many people like to sleep naked, there is nothing wrong with it. In fact some doctors recommend people, women especially, sleep naked in order to let their vaginal area 'breathe'. I have slept naked since I was seven years old and I am not a pervert or sexual deviant or an exhibitionist by any stretch of the imagination. It may be she likes the texture of the sheets rather than the confining feel of pants. You may need to wash the sheets more frequently, but I think that is a small price to pay.

Are you concerned that others might look at her funny? Or that she might be a 'bad' influence on your own girls? I think it was good that you expressed your concerns to her father, but at the end of the day he and her mother have to decide what it right for their daughter.

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after reading all of your responses this is what I have to say.My oldest son has been diagnosed with aspergers as well. Do you know what the syndrome is? It has to do with social issues and the things they battle in their little brains. My son sleeps in his "birthday" suit as well. At first, I too flipped out! But the more that I started talking to him and asking him questions the more that I realize that He enjoys the feel of the sheets and he doesnt feel "wound up" which means he feels free and doesnt want to wear clothes all hours. And as soon as I figured out that he wasnt hurting himself or any one else. I just gave him space. He is doing fine and actually doing better in school. I gave him stipulations to sleeping nude as well. they are 1. You must be covered when someone walks in the room. 2.you dont come out of your room unless you are dressed!! And he is fine with that.

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My friends daughter would end up nude in the morning and has no medical issues. As long as she is appropriate and has bottoms on before she gets out of bed, there should not be any concern. (unless she sleeps with her siblings, panties should stay on) I understand her woes, I have skin issues as well.

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I don't think it's a big deal. My 4-yr-old daughter just gets hot at night and I often find her naked in her bed with her jammies on the floor. As someone else said, it's actually better for girls/women to sleep without panties so we can breathe. As long as she knows that she must wear something that covers herself for sleepovers, I wouldn't stress about it.

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I think you may be overreacting a little bit here. If this is a part of her condition and it irritates her skin, why would you want her to put something on her that irritates her? How about trying to find a hypo-allergenic material that does not scrtach her?
I do understand your concern for your daughters and her being naked underneath her covers. Maybe separate rooms would be ideal in this situatiom until they are old enough to grasp what's going on. Just be sure to do this in the most sensitive manner and do not make a big deal out of it. The more you cause a stink the more, they will be aware and react according to how you react. Best of luck to you!

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Naked isn't bad. My son likes to take his naps naked and even likes going 'comando' at night under his jammies. I wouldn't worry about it, or maybe find some soft flannel or silky pj bottoms she might like better or try a long soft nightgown. But really she has no reason to be ashamed and neither do you.

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Hi. my son is the same age with the same diagnosis & sleeps the same way. It does not bother us because he is modest. he is always dressed & at night after we tuck him in & talk about our day he jets undressed under his cover & goes to bed. He wakes up & gets dressed. I don't think his brothers even know & it has not become an issue when a friend is spending the night. (I think he keeps his boxers on ) he wears shorts even if it's freezing
outside. I tried to change that but somethings you can't do. He literally can not stand pants on. It has to be for a very(you are not going) special occasion. the feeling really gets to him.
good luck, you are not alone & it takes a very special person to deal with these special people.

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J.,

Take a deep breath...You're not overreacting exactly, but you are probably relatively new dealing with an autistic child. It's okay and the little girl will deal with it in her own time. If you make a big deal about it, it will either giver her a complex about herself or trigger her that she has a way to bother you personally. All Asb'ies are quirky, and we as parents learn to live with the oddities that they throw our way on a daily basis :)

As for not having any bottoms on, as long as she is sleeping alone in her bed, it shouldn't be any thing worry about. How about switching her from jammys to tshirt type night gowns?

As a parent of another Asberger child who is now a freshman in high school, the biggest piece of advice is to explain to her your facial expressions. And use a smile on your face as much as possible so she learns to read your emotions. The more you smile, the easier it gets for her, maybe not for you, but for her it will get better. I know better than anyone how hard it is to do this, but put on that smile regardless of what your true feelings are at that moment.

Good luck to you!

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I don't see the issue at all. It sounds like she is being discreet. Trying to fight this battle is going to cause nothing but aggravation and teach her that there is something wrong with her body. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. I agree with the other people. You should relax and let her sleep how she feels comfortable.

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Hi. I have AS as does my oldest daughter. (BTW, you should check out www.aspieinfo.com There are support group meetings for parents, for siblings, and for teens with AS and there are people from all over the Houston/metro area who attend, including Katy and Spring!)

It is very common for her to not wear bottoms. Actually, my 6 YO sleeps completely naked (not even panties.) This is an improvement, because she was not wearing clothes outside of her room as well. And it used to be that she would go in the yard naked (OMG) and when she would get dressed to go somewhere she would get UNDRESSED the moment she got in the van! It's taken 4 years to get her to the point that MOST of the time she will wear clothing EXCEPT when she goes to bed. She knows that she is NOT allowed to come out of her bedroom unless she is at least wearing panties and a t-shirt. It's a sensory issue like tags. She can't stand most pants, can't stand long sleeves, can't stand 'capped' sleeves, and will wear sleeveless dresses and shorts and t-shirts even if it's cold in the house!

Please feel free to write to me about AS. I also recommend going to a meeting or join a yahoogroup. I moderate the yahoogroup ASPIEHouston but it's a very slow moving group.

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I think you are over-reacting. She only takes off her PJ bottoms in the privacy of her room. Offer her a larger t-shirt if you are concerned.

My son, who has different neurological issues, is very sensitive to textures, and I can't really understand how difficult that is for him, so I work very hard to make sure he can deal with the textures of all of his clothes.

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I wouldn't be concerned. She'll probably grow out of it in a couple years. I was the same way growing up and would crawl into bed with my parents like with just a nightshirt on sometimes. I would also cuddle with my Dad on the sofa watching tv until it was time to go to bed. We never were very concerned if someone saw someone else naked even. When I was 12, I remember feeling increasingly uncomfortable when I would be under the covers with my dad and my shirt would be hike up my body and he'd be tickling me. Mind you, he would never touch my genitals or do anything sexual. I remember being embarrassed one night though when we were watching gymnasts on tv and he asked me if I could do all that, and without thinking I said I could do a handstand. Well I did it and of course my shirt fell over my face, which would only have been for a second except he grabbed my feet in the air and I couldn't go down. He wouldn't let me down until he walked me around the living room and through a couple other rooms and back. That whole time I was completely naked and felt REALLY exposed being that I was upside down and he was moving my legs around at will. He was just kidding around, but I felt uncomfortable and started wearing boxer shorts when watching tv in the evenings.

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My Grandmother is 80 years old and has never worn underwear or sleep pants under her t-shirt. She is a God fearing woman and wears them during the day. I don't see the problem with it as long as she understands that she must wear underwear under her pants during the day. As for your fear of her ending up naked in the yard in case of fire, just make sure her pants are at the end of the bed for quick entry. Relax...all of us have our quirks. I am sure there are more than my granny and your daughter that sleep sans underwear.

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My mother in law started this trend with my daughter. At first it drove me crazy, but now I just give her a big t-shirt. Some professionals even say its good to let that area "breath". Just try to insist that when she gets out of bed she needs to put her bottoms back on before she comes out to join the family.
I would choose your battles carefully. You have a long road ahead.

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You could get her some long sleeping t-shirts. That way if she gets up in the middle of the night no one has to see her everything. Look for taggless shirts. I had sensitive skin and where my undies hit my legs i would get raw skin. I sleept with out anything past the waist and it was considerably better by morning. I appericiate modisty but since its all girls in the house and its only durring bed time. I would say its not that big of a consiren. Now if she were streaking threw the neighborhood I would be consirned.

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This is not an issue. I sleep completly naked every night because seams, waistbands, & tags are uncomfortable. They itch & waistbands hamper breathing fully. Growing up I had to wear pajamas, because I shared a room. Once I got my own room I was free to be comfortable & never went back. As long as you all explain to her that you have to wear p.j.s at slumber partys, and keep her window locked against intruders; there is no problem. Her never growing out of this habit is not a problem at all. What is your real concern? you didn't actually specify one.

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You are overreacting. As she grows older, she will start wearing clothes, but, in fact, my mother always told me not to wear panties to bed. The body needs to breathe, she said. Sure, I wore pajamas, but your step daughter has good reason to be more comfortable without them. As a grown woman, I always wear nightgowns or long t-shirts with no panties. Have you considered buying her a soft nightie of some sort that comes below her bottom? She might be very comfortable in that. She's just a child. Please do not suggest to her that what she is doing is wrong.

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In my opinion you are definitely overreacting. My 11 yo does not wear underwear because she generates so much heat in her sleep that it causes severe heat rashes when she does. So when she is wearing a nightgown she is exposed in much the same way as your step daughter.

As long as this behavior is only in her bed and in her room, I do not see the problem. If she shares a room with your own children and you explain why their step sister does this, there should not be a problem.

It should only be looked at as inappropriate if she wandering the house dressed this way...

Otherwise, treat it as normal and be as understanding of her limitations as possible...

Good Luck... ;-)

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I agree that it could become a problem. But, it's not your call. No boys sleeping in the house? Let it go. You've expressed your concerns. She only takes it off while she's in bed. She doesn't walk around the house that way. I don't always sleep fully covered. I would only be concerned if she was sleeping with someone in the same bed, or if she was walking around that way, or if she had brothers.

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I'm not sure why sleeping in just a t-shirt is a bad thing. What are your concerns which is what I missed in this mail. If she is walking around the house and her t-shirt does not cover her body and that is a bad thing to you then that would be a concern for you but if she's simply sleeping and when she gets up she puts her pants back on then I'm not sure where there is an issue. Is she doing something unsanitary?

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well she really should not sleep in underware any way I have always heard that you should not sleep in tight clothes at night or none for the lower part of your body anyway. remedy just buy her long night gowns so you should not have a issue if you don't see anything

hope this helps

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She has Asbergers. This is not a sexual issue and if your DDs find out, then simply explain that this has to do with her Asbergers and her sincitivity and is not something that is appropriat for them to do. If it is a non-issue with you, it will lbe a non-issue with them. She is managing in a way that she can and space should be allowed for that. If she starts walking around the house like that, it might be an issue, but right now, this seems appropriat given the situation.

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I don't think you should fight this battle. She is doing no harm to anyone and isn't exposing herself to the whole family. I would explain to your daughters that it isn't typical behavior but it isn't inappropriate either because she is doing it in the privacy of her own bed/room. If it isn't having a negative effect on her sleeping like peeing her bed or waking up scared, then I would let it be... Sometimes children who sleep with no undies have a tendency to wet their beds or have nightmares, this because they aren't feeling the security of what underwear can provide.

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Hi J., as a mother of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, I know that children who suffer from these issues have quirks. It is so hard for us to relate and understand but wearing pants obviously makes her very uncomfortable and probably disrupts her sleep. If you try to fight her on something like this, it will most likely create another problem for all of you. For example, increased anxiety, sleep loss, etc. I would just let this one go. It doesn't sound like she's running around naked; that might be concerning but it seems as if she knows when she really needs to be covered up. There is definitely a chance she will grow out of this one and learn to cope. When she is 14 years old, she might be embarrassed by the thought of someone walking in on her and seeing her naked in her sleep. She's still young, I personally would let this one go. Good luck to you.

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Would trying to switch her to a long sleep shirt be a better option?

I understand the feeling of "itchy skin" and "binding waistbands" and all that so I understand her wanting to sleep that way.

My opinion only here, but if she is in her home and her bed, then why not?

I would make sure to explain very carefully and completely to her that sleeping that way is not appropriate when friends are over or she is at someone elses home or camp or similar, but at home in her own room and own bed . . .

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I am unclear on why this is a problem? Are you cocerned about sleepovers? I think I would explain to her that "private areas" or "private" so when she has friends spend the night or when she sleeps as other friends houses, she needs to at least wear underwear or maybe a longer nightshirt. I would also explain to her friends parents her issues with her skin sensitivity. Other than that issue, I don't understand why it is a problem. Her room and her bed is a "private" area, she should be able to be naked if she wants to! I sleep naked, I hate having stuff tangle around me when I sleep. I guess I move around too much!

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As a parent of an 8 year old boy with asperger's I would just be happy that she understands its not appropriate to be naked out of the bed. My son sleeps naked but i'm okay with that since its only been this year that we've got it thru to him that he can't run around the house naked all day. It use to really drive me crazy but my doctor explained to me that you really have to pick your battles and as long as they aren't leaving the bedroom naked let them have domain of their own bodies in bed. I know its hard to understand but they REALLY can't sleep well dressed. Just set some ground rules with her and explain, explain and explain again. Kids with asperger's really don't understand looks and social cues. And she may not understand if she is making others around her uncomfortable with her nudity. And really a ton of people sleep naked and in the big picture its not that big a deal.
A.

Hi J..

Your stepdaughter has a quirky habit. Big word: HABIT. I think it will be impossible to break this one every other weekend, and it may be confusing to her as well. I think you need to figure out a way to live with it. A long night shirt (at your house) may be the answer. Just make sure when you buy them to pre-wash and remove the tags. Make sure they are soft and comfortable (something you'd want to sleep in). You might take her on a shopping trip for just the two of you. Target and Wal-mart both have some "softies". Make it fun and try not to make the no-panties at bedtime a big issue. If you tell her "it's not right" or "it's not normal", she may feel ashamed and that would not be good. Work with what you have and it will be fine.
HTH

I really dont see it as a problem. My daughter is 13 and is perfectly healthy and mentally stable. Ever since she was 5 she chose to dress like that and I never saw it as an issue. In fact, she still chooses to wear her shirts to bed without anything else on underneathe. At first my husband had a huge problem with it but after I explained it was just her way of showing how comfortable she was around us the awkwardness faded. She doesnt only sleep like that but occasionally comes to watch tv like that in our livingroom before bed. Eventually she will grow out of it but nevertheless I'm glad she is so comfortable around us! I would rather her be relaxed around us than feel timid or uncomfortable around us. It tells me that she will always be open to telling us everything! I hope this helps.

I agree with you. It's your house, and I understand that your husband is there too, but come on. What I'm seeing is that her parents are making excuse for her behavior. My daughter sleeps with shorts on.
(we both suffer from Sensory Defensiveness) So we are always overly irritated by everything. But I will not allow her to sleep with any type of nakedness. I have my own reasons, that I will not discuss here. It is your home, and you have to feel comfortable there. If you do not feel comfortable that is going to show throughout your home. Talk to your husband again and see if she can not wear some type of bottoms that will allow for the "breathing" and make her comfortable.

Hi J.,
I must say I have never heard of this ailment- but I must agree with you- it is unusual behavior and for a young girl I think it is in appropriate especially around your children.
I think I would explain to her how you feel, that when she is at your house you would appreiate her not sleeping without some covering on her little body- and then explain to your children that they should just ignore her "unusual habits" or maybe your 9 year old could tell her to put something on when she is at your home- there will be a time as she gets older that she will not be able to do this ...........then the situation will be corrected, but until then I think you should express to her how you feel then try to drop it for a while. I know that is probably not what you want to hear, but instead of creating a situation that could get out of control I would try this first.
Good luck and blessings

Because of her condition, I think you need to cut her some slack. You and your husband should discuss with her, however, that when she gets out of the bed for any reason--to go to the bathroom, to turn on a fan, whatever--she needs to put her baggy pants on. This will keep YOUR daughters from being influenced by her problem.

As the mom of a special needs adult, I know how difficult it can be trying to understand the world of your stepdaughter. Have patience, and don't be so ready to "make" her conform to YOUR world. It won't happen, and you'll all be just miserable.

Does your stepdaughter see a psychiatrist for help with her disorder? It might be helpful for you to attend one of her appointments and ask your questions of a professional who is trained to understand the forces at work in the little girl. He can give you some fresh insight into just how different her reasoning is from the norm.

Hope this helps a bit.

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