Daily Clothing Struggles
My 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with SPD at age 4. We have worked with her and have made major strides in a lot of her sensory areas and behaviors with the exception of one... clothing!
Let me first start by saying all her clothing is soft cotton knit, no buttons, snaps, zippers... and very loose. Still --- it needs to be 'stretched' every morning... and even then it's still to tight if it touches her. I've explained that clothing has to touch or it will fall off. I'm beginning to think that the loose clothing rubbing against her actually is more problematic than if it were actually 'fitted', but she won't wear anything fitted.
Getting dressed in the morning sometimes takes over an hour and leads us both to exhaustion and fights (I know that I need to find a better way). We also have sock and shoe issues (and she can only wear one pair of shoes -- but she's almost grown out of those.) Knit, yoga, fold over waist, flowy type of gaucho pants seem to do the best but are hard to find. I have a hard time with shirts (the sleeves), panties, socks, and shoes.
Any suggestions??? Either for clothes, or ideas on how to help her not have so much pain when dressing? She literally screams and says that she feels like she is burning, and being squeezed. I'm so exhausted, and now my 2 year old is imitating the behavior. The SPD Help Line Answers
Before I point you to some resources, I am wondering a few things...
Is your current OT specifically treating the tactile defensiveness?? If so, what is she doing to address it? Has anything helped in the past? What is/isn't working now? Being worked on now? Is your OT specifically trained and educated in sensory processing disorders and sensory integrative therapy
treatment and therapy? I am curious why this is not being addressed.
While I await your answers... here are some helpful resources for you, and anyone else reading this with similar problems. Read these and follow links within these articles for a comprehensive look at how to help.
The following articles and/or other help line submissions may help...Clothing Doesn't Feel GoodTouch Sensitivity
One particular newsletter I wrote may help too... Using SI Theory To Help Solve Problems At Home
newsletter. Here are some of the suggestions you will find there:Child is bothered by the feel of some clothes.
1. Use a body suit (or compression garments) under clothes.
2. Provide socks that are tight around the ankle.
3. Wear silk/lycra underclothes.
4. Seamless socks (or turn socks inside out).
5. Tagless pants, shirts, and underwear.
6. Get used clothes at a second hand store... they are usually well broken in and softer.
7. Use plenty of fabric softener when washing clothes.
What I would further suggest is talking to your OT about using the Wilbarger Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique For Sensory Defensiveness
to address the underlying problem for your daugheter. See if she thinks this is appropriate and/or will work for your little girl! It's definitely worth a shot! She obviously needs some additional therapy and help around this issue.
Hopefully, the above articles will help AND, perhaps some compression clothes if the OT thinks this will help...compression shirt
(you can choose other sizes that what you see here... just some ideas for what I am talking about). Seamless socks
also help many kids. Lastly, ask the OT for specific proprioceptive activities that may help... massages, rolling a ball on her before getting dressed, etc.
Anyone else have any ideas? I KNOW many of you have walked this road! We would love to hear from YOU too.
Take good care.