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Monday, April 20, 2015

Choosing the Right Clothes for Your Child's Sensory Needs

Posted by Debra Ann Elliott at 10:22 PM
Have you ever fought with your kid to get dressed? Most of you have, but if your child has sensory perception disorder the war has only begun. Kids with SPD don't like certain things when it comes to clothing. Over-sensitivity to touch and difficulty with motor skills can cause a variety of clothing issues, but if you learn quickly what your child likes and doesn't like you can choose the right clothing.
Three minor additions to your kids wardrobe can become a nightmare and sensory challenge. Buttons, zippers, and tags can drive your child into sensory overload and a meltdown.

Button Button Who's Got the Button
Buttons can be a problem and lead to a lot of issues. Most SPD kids don't like buttons and will find a way to get rid of them. Some kids will chew the buttons off their clothes while others will twist them off. Neither is a good thing for your child or you. There are a few solutions to get both of you through the button crisis.
  • Choose pull-over shirts. Simple tee-shirts are an easy fix. This clothing option prevents buttons from disappearing, choking hazards, and meltdowns. By choosing pull-over shirts you and your child are both happy.
  • Choose pants or shorts with elastic waistbands. Some kids struggle with buttoning their pants or just don't like the way the button or snap feels on their stomach. When choosing clothing with elastic know your child. Some SPD kids don't like pant legs with elastic around the cuffs. Jogging pants can work well for this sensory issue.
Zap the Zipper
Zippers can present a lot of sensory issues especially for boys. Boys with sensory disorders can have major problems with using zippers. The use of zippers can be a frightening experience for boys. The thought of having to use zippers can cause your child to feel overwhelmed. Using zippers can become a tedious event. As a parent you have to choose clothing without zippers if your child has this issue.

  • Replace jackets with hoodies or pull-over sweatshirts. By replacing zippered jackets, your child won't feel as overwhelmed at the thought of struggling with a zipper. Hoodies and pull-over sweatshirts are easy to put on and take off. However, the winter months can present a problem with heavy jackets, but if you prepare and layer your child should be alright.
  • Don't buy zippered jeans. Jeans with a zipper can cause major meltdowns. The best clothing option is jeans with elastic waistbands. Although most jeans are zippered for older boys, you may have to shop at a specialty store to meet the needs of your child. In order to keep your child calm, zap the zipper.
Tag You're It
Tags itch and cause sensory overload. SPD kids don't like anything rubbing up against their skin and causing them to itch. You'll create a war if you try to make your child wear anything with a tag. Meltdowns will ensue and you're child could become aggressive. In order to prevent problems with tags you have two choices.
  • Buy tagless clothing. Look for clothes without any tag. A lot of tee-shirts and undergarments now come tagless. These clothing options are the perfect solution to a potential problem.
  • If tagless clothing isn't available, then the only other option is to remove the tags from your childs clothing. This is extreme, but well worth the effort. Going tagless will prevent sensory overloads which can lead to aggressive behavior.
When shopping for your child keep in mind their special needs. SPD kids have special issues with touch and motor skills. Stay clear of buttons, zippers, and tags if possible. Although it's not always feasible to avoid these minor clothing additions remember you have solutions that will prevent sensory meltdowns.


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