I can not find ANYTHING that my 6 year old will wear

by Kristie
(North Carolina)

My daughter has recently been diagnosed with tactile defensiveness. She is 6 years old and in first grade. She began having issues, now that I look back on everything, since she was able to get herself dressed. When she was tiny, she would change her clothes 25 times a day....literally!!! Or, she would run around in her birthday suit. Well, when you are 2 thats cute. When you are 6, of course...not so appropriate.


Then it started.....time to begin pre-k...all of a sudden she hated shirts, specific shirts....then she would only wear dresses, then only shorts....Time has passed, this child, bless her heart, will only wear one pair of underwear, which by the way ripped today...(crisis) and 2 tank tops...she will also wear one pair of pj pants. They are a size 10...she is a size 7 and 48 pounds...can you imagine how huge they are on her. Bless her.

Her little toes hate shoes, she will only wear a size 2 while her feet measure a size 13 but the size 2 dont "hurt her". We have to tie them so tight though, they leave marks. We have tried everything in terms of clothes: under armour, cotton, ramie, polyester...consignment store clothes...tight/compression clothes, I NEED HELP. I do not know what else to try.... She looks like a little orphan. I am ok with excepting the fact that she is not going to be a fashion diva. However, I want her to be comfortable, and at some kind of peace.

I cry everyday because of what she goes through. Any suggestions or helpful comments would so be appreciated. I do thank God its only the clothing that she has issues with....not any food problems, she plays with anything sticky or eewy gooey...she loves....its just the clothes....

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Jul 18, 2015
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Independence Day Clothing
by: Anonymous

Have you tried Independence Day Clothing? Made fully reversible and of sensory gentle fabric. http://www.upworthy.com/these-clothes-are-comfy-and-stylish-and-can-make-life-much-easier-for-kids-with-autism?c=ufb1

Nov 13, 2014
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thank goodness
by: very patient mum

Hi all thanks for sharing! My daughter has had spd since the age of 6, is now a teenager and we still have a very tuff time with clothes particularly underwear. We both find the situation so stressfull and I find it frustrating to empathise with, considering one small change would make such a huge difference to every aspect of her life. It's reassuring to know we are not alone. In the UK it seems impossible to get an accurate diagnosis or even any realistic clothing options.
I look forward to hearing what works for you.

Jun 11, 2014
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Dinno Learns How To Wear Clothes
by: Shawn

I find your story distressful. It must be a load full, every day is a crisis for this poor child. I found an eBook may help her. It called Dinosaur : Dinno Learns How To Wear Clothes: Teach your 3-5 years old how to dress up without stress. It could be a learning book, a bedtime story or bonding time between parent-child.

Jan 22, 2012
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Also struggling
by: Anonymous

My daughter is also happiest with next to nothing on. Luckily she has very few issues with undies but we struggle with pants a lot. We found fleece pants at Kohls that she will wear. I bought 7 different patterns, 1 for each day. Now we struggle with the school telling her that she can't wear pj pants to school! There are some great websites out there with sensory clothing, even underwear! We just ordered a special hairbrush from one of these sites. I hope it helps with those struggles. Hang in there. I know it is tough but you will find things that work if you keep looking.

Jan 06, 2011
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Ideas for clothes for 6 year old
by: KJH

My 6 year old daughter has SPD. We have run the gamut of only dresses, only shorts, and now only pants for winter. We've found that Gymboree's soft cotton yoga style pants work great and then match with their simple long sleeve cotton shirts (no pockets or elastic edges). Her only choice for underwear is a pair of Hannah Andersson. She's worn the same flowing Disney nightgown for 2 years. She will not wear socks and has lived in a pair of UGG knock off boots for months. Tried to buy a new pair but she claims they don't feel the same.

It is horribly frustrating but we take it day by day. Our OT has us trying the brushing technique. So far it has not helped but I'll keep trying.

Jan 04, 2011
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I can sympathize
by: Mom2Kate

My daughter (now 10) has had and still has many of the same issues that you child is experiencing. Here are some of the things we have tried that worked.

For a while we purchased every different kind of girls underwear we could find and some would work for a few days and then nothing, but most were never right for Kate. Or she would have 4 pair that were exactly alike except for the color (same package even) and only the blue pair would feel right. Now she wears boxers that are 2 sizes too large...but they work. She wears dresses with empire waists. Yesterday she even decided that she was going to wear her pj's under her dress.

She has always fought socks and shoes, so now she wears crocs or fuzzy slippers. Sometimes she can manage an Ugg-type boot, but all without socks. She has found just in the last few weeks that toe socks (you know the kind where each toes has its own 'sock') feel good to her. I think that goes against all reason, but she seems to like them. Her psychologist mentioned that he had another patient similar to Kate who would only wear Vibram FiveFinger shoes so I thought about trying those except that she tends to like something for a few days and then can't stand it...and those shoes aren't cheap.

For us mornings are always rough, so we try to just get dressed at night in what we are going to wear the next day so that the mornings go smoother. She wraps the handle of her toothbrush with a washcloth or even toilet paper because she can't stand the feel of the handle. She hates to brush her hair, but we have found a brush that she will tolerate.

We have found that some of the medicines that she takes for ADD have intensified her sensory issues, so we area still trying to adjust and find a medicine that will help her focus, but not irritate or make her even more uncomfortable.

The main thing is that no one thing works all the time, there is a constant struggle to find something new that may work for a short while or may work a little longer, but nothing ever seems to work forever. It's frustrating for all of us, but I've learned to pick my battles and always keep my eyes and ears open for new things to try.

Good luck!

Jan 02, 2011
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interesting happenings
by: kristie

Something very interesting happened yesterday I wanted to share with anyone that is sharing the challenges with their child having SID. My daughter and I tried for over an hour to get dressed...tears, big, tight hugs, bargaining, bribing....yes, it even gets to that I hate to say. NOTHING...She refused to get dressed. We had just returned from vacation and my husband went to pick up our dog and bring her home. Well, you can imagine the excitement when she came in the door. My little one was so excited and at a very high level of something (I am not sure what)....she went right in her room and got on her JEANS. ANDDDDDD a NEW pair of undies....unheard of....something is to be said for the high level of input before approaching the dressing... VERY HIGH LEVEL in her case. Bless all these little ones who are struggling so badly....Keep praying and reading, and learning....we are the only ones to help them understand and face these challenges. Another note of possible help to someone....If your child is school age and faced with peer questioning about the clothes he/she wears....my little one just tells friends that she is allergic to some clothes and it passes immed. Most importantly, my daughter is accepting of that being the reason she is having so much trouble and that is most important. She has friends with allergies and views them as no different. This may help with your child not feeling badly because of being "different".

Jan 01, 2011
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great ideas for clothing...
by: Colleen upstate N.Y

My son Bryce will be 3 April 10 2011 Has SID has been diagnosed with Dspraxia has issues with snowpants won't wear them clearly agitated when trying to put them on very upset... In my situation he is not talking yet... he is receiving speech therapy spec.ed also and finally ot in the house... through the county. so I might try some of the ideas suggested to help him wear them we live in the Northeast alot of snow and we go out alot... My sanity... I currently have a 8mnth old his brother Ben... Here is the real issues... Sleeping Bryce used be in his room in his big boy bed went to bed ok.. is a very restless sleeper... He is high energy all day.. Sensory seeker... recently since everyone has been coming to help him he has reverted and will not be in his room will not let my husband near him to help with bath..or bed.. So it is me and Ben he is teething bad and won't settle in crib but will in bed with me... so at night it is me Bryce and Ben in my bed and my husband in extra bedroom can't seem to get Bryce back in his room... for Bryce anything that is not predictable is very upsetting.... HELP ANYONE PLEASSSEE......

Jan 01, 2011
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i know exactly what your going through
by: Anonymous

OT!!!!!! and go in with her...if the place you find does not allow you to, find another place. i learned so much going in with her. we went for 16 weeks every week and now there are only a few things she will not wear ... she is still very specific about how she wears clothes ...lines on tights have to be in a specific spot or she will take them completely off ... cry and try again...her hair still can't be behind her ears, and it has to be down, pj's and flip flops are still her favorite but she knows there is a time and place for them now and accepts she may be a little uncomfortable for a bit but we always bring her favorite pjs with us so she can change into them either in the car before we go home or at my parents house when everyone else has left. we do not make her wear underwear while she is home or to bed.... what's the point.
you seem very patient ...

hints with INSURANCE-- if they will not cover OT for sensory issues -- find something close to your child's issues and ask the OT to put that down on the intake sheet--we put down that my daughter could not balance, criss-cross and dress herself--gross over exaggerations of reality but it got her in ---covered!!!!

if you can't get OT --- have her JUMP, RUN, and take her to the park--even in winter-- make her try one new thing every time-- bounce her on her knees to try to make the pants and underwear feel better -- it's all about 'input', make crash pillows with big foam block and felt and let her jump off the couch into them, buy a small trampoline with a bar for her to hold onto and let her jump away, and get lots of different textured balls, fabrics and toys and have her play with them for as long as she can tolerate a couple times a day- rub them on her have her rub them on her, anything that exposes her to the different textures but do not force her!!!!! also, HUGS!!!and lots of tight big ones!!!!! seriously this all works miracles..i promise!!!!

for now there are plenty of Pjs out there that look like reg. clothes, and no one knows she's not wearing underwear except you and her...plus i talked to her dr. and it's actually better health wise because it allows her privates to 'breathe' so it's not bad for her health.

also, make sure she is eating healthy and not using any perfumes, or dyes---especially in laundry det. and soap. we use aveeno for everything including lotion and shampoo and conditioner.- find what works best for her.

i hope this all helps!!!

good luck

Jan 01, 2011
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Thank you
by: Kristie

Thank you for your ideas.... I have tried the leotards as well...she hates the constriction they have on her legs, which you would think the opposite...I think I may allow her to wear her bathing suit bottoms, she loves those...Summer time is less of a an issue for her (tank tops and shorts with flip flops) Winter is the worst....I am so worried about doing the right thing about what to force her to do and what not to force her...We HAVE to go to school everyday. I work in the same school as she attends....so I will continue my search.

Dec 31, 2010
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Sounds like my DD at that age
by: Anonymous

Ask your daughter to tell you about how the clothes make her feel when they don't work. Ask her about why her only pair of underwear feels "right" to identify the very sensitive areas and get an idea where to start looking or even sewing clothing items. We hit on the idea of leotards as underwear because my DD's waist is so sensitive.

Also, do you do the brushing or rubbing or massaging to desensitize? We brushed, and used a hand held massager to desensitize- made it a game. It helped sometimes.

Also try habitation- make the reward very big to get her to desensitize to new clothes she feels are "comfortable" .

Believe me, I know your frustrations. My DD at that age had only 1 pair of pants, and 2 empire waisted dresses with only 2 underpants that she could stand. She would often spend the whole day in her swim suit or loose fitting nightgown because she could not get dressed. There were times, that she was in tears that her clothes hurt.

She loves school and somehow we made it out the door. Let your child know that she is NOT the only one and many kids have clothes sensitivity- really, no big deal, they wear "comfy" clothes alot. This is a good response if her friends ask why she is always wearing the same clothes (like they asked my DD,).

Thank goodness our society is so relaxed about dressing. PJ bottoms are acceptable and FUN.


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