Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How to Help your Child with Clothing Sensitivities

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Tips and resources to helps autism families navigate the holiday season

Dealing with clothing sensory issues? Here's how you can help your child with clothing sensitivities!

While you might not be bothered by tags or seams, many children with autism or sensory processing issues are. For instance, your child might prefer to be naked or just plain old refuses to wear clothing in general.

Or maybe your child only wants to wear a select few shirts.

Or maybe they refuse to wear long pants even though it's cold outside. My youngest went through a no pants phase himself for what seemed like forever! Leg warmers were his jam for a long, long time so I can relate to this whole refusal of pants thing.

I bet you've wondered...how can I help my child accept a bigger variety of clothing?

I know these clothing sensitivities can be frustrating as a parent, but there are lots of things you can do to help your child with their clothing sensory issues.

You first need to understand that your child's clothing sensory issues are very real. The clothing they wear may, in fact, feel like it is hurting their skin. It's important to keep these truths in mind when picking one of these strategies to help your child with clothing sensitivities.

Practical strategies to help with your child's clothing sensory issues

Practical Tips to Help Your Child's Clothing Sensory Issues

Ready to help your child cope with their clothing sensitivities? Here are some practical strategies that you can try today:

1. Understand the underlying sensory issues of clothing sensitivity and respect your child's sensitivites and choice to wear only certain articles of clothing.

2. Buy seamless and tagless clothing when available.

3. Remove and/or cut out tags.

4. Look for clothing that uses super soft and/or light fabrics.

5. Always buy multiples of the clothing your child finds comfortable.

6. Let your child try on clothing and/or feel the clothing at the store before purchasing.

7. Consider changing your laundry detergent and routine. Could the smell of the soap be bothersome, for example?

8. Avoid shirts with collars, cuffs, buttons, or elastics that make the clothing more restrictive.

9. Turn socks or underwear inside out if the seams are bothersome.

10. Buy clothing in a larger size so that it will hang looser on the body, if that is their preference.

11. Buy compression clothing if they prefer something that clings closer to the body.

11. Layer clothing with your child's favorites. For example, they could wear their favorite leggings underneath a dress they don't like the feel of.

12. Look for underwear that doesn't have the elastic exposed. 

13. Don't force your child to wear something that they don't feel uncomfortable in.

14. Let your child pick their own clothing to wear.

15. Give your child lots of time to get dressed so they can get used to the way each piece of clothing feels on their skin.


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Practical strategies to help with your child's clothing sensory issues

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