by Zoe

My little girl is 7 yrs old and has been very particular about clothes since she was two. She used to need to know exactly what she would be wearing for each part of the day in advance, her whole focus of the day was her clothes.

She struggled with bumps in her socks, her hair has to be right/tight, shoes were practically stopping her blood they were so tight, couldn't wear dresses, it had to be leggings, sleeves had to be right, the list went on and on.

As shes got older the issues have continued but this last three weeks we have hit a worse than ever time. I am filled with dread every morning because I anticipate what will happen. She went back to school after easter last week, she had new shoes, which she picked and loved and tried them on but when it come to the day of wearing them she had a major meltdown because they weren't right, she couldn't get them to match on both sides (she means the tightness), her hair which she had stuck to having a pony tail in she suddenly changed to a plait and it has to be so straight that even a millimetre out and she knows, she even uses her fingers to measure around her head to check, if one finger reaches the front of her head before the other she rips the bobble out. These melt downs last around an hour every single morning for the last few weeks. I have had to literally drag her to school but once there shes scared people will see her like that and calms down then copes all day until next morning!

Ive bought more new shoes which are better but still you can see her stressing, measuring, checking her pants don't touch the floor.

She is so limited to clothes she will wear that she literally walks round looking so scruffy, I bought her two pair of new pants and a t-shirt last week and shes already warned me she wont be wearing them, the t-shirt she will but the pants she tried on and said get them off quick.

I'm struggling so bad with the morning melt downs and understanding how she can spend an hour in hysterics kicking and hitting me then switch to a normal child when we reach school?

Im at a loss as to what to do, whether its me being too soft of whether it is a sign of SPD

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Aug 17, 2013
Struggle with Clothing
by: Anonymous

My daughter had similar melt-downs. She loves clothes and shoes and the more frills the better... only her desire for fashion is most often overrun by her sensitivity to touch. We found that wearing Under Armor (or the like) under her clothing helps a great deal. They have them that are tight (believe it's meant for the circulation in athletes?) that work well for children who like things tight. They also have them that are loose for children who don't like the feel of the tight ones. The silky feel helped her so that there was a barrier to all the seems and embellishments on the clothing that she so loved (but didn't like the feel of)! She also liked wearing tights under everything (we even got her to wear a pair of jeans!!! over a pair of tights!). We have had trouble with shoes, too... as she likes them tight and then it will cause blisters at times; but her desire for fashion allows us to get her new shoes! Good luck!

May 23, 2013
similar situation with son.
by: Anonymous

I am sorry to hear that you and your daughter are having so much difficulties with clothes.

My 10 year old son has similar issues, although they are not so extreme. His trousers have to be really long, his shoes have to feel just so (it takes us ages to go shoe shopping. He never wears shorts, he doesn't like the feel/sound of some materials, his sleeves have to be covering his hands, he hates wearing a coat (only wears one in the most severe of weathers) has only just started wearing underpants etc etc.

He was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder via an OT assessment through our GP. He also has asperger type traits in that he is a bit obsessive about certain things, especially clothing) but not all things and socially he is fine.

The best thing to do is to get an assessment for your child. Unfortunately the sensory processing disorder really affects the way these kids live and feel in the world and it doesn't really ever go away (the clothes issue I mean) although it will get easier as she gets older and can articulate to you what the problem is. I now just go with the flow with my son. It takes a bit longer to get ready but I've learnt that no amount of cajoling will get him to change his mind so I just let him do what he needs to do and help him out wherever I can. We have similar issues with eating but again I now just go with the flow. Since I have we are all a lot happier and relaxed. The diagnosis helped me the most I think!

Good luck!

Apr 24, 2013
Not Your Fault!
by: Anonymous

So sorry you are struggling. Clothes/hair have been a big issue with my daughter as well. I understand the feeling of dread you spoke of. It is definitely not a result of you being too "soft." It sounds like you are a patient and understanding mom, which is exactly what these kids need.

A few things that are working for us:

1. Being patient and understanding and trying to accommodate in whatever way you can.

2. When I sense a morning meltdown coming on, we "hug it out." There is something about big hugs that seem to help calm her.

3. Distraction - trying to quickly move her on to the next thing after she's ready in the morning. I try to avoid giving her time to look in the mirror since that's when the obsessing begins.

4. BY FAR the biggest thing that has help curb this behavior has been dietary change. I would strongly encourage you to read Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's book "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" and see if it resonates with you. It has been LIFE-CHANGING for us. We've been on the diet for five months and have seen probably a 90% improvement in this type of behavior. It feels like a miracle.

Best of luck to you as you try to help your little girl!

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