A nightmare to get dressed in the morning

by Amie Stratton
(Scotts Valley, Ca)

My six year old daughter has MAJOR clothing sensitivity's. So bad that this morning she literally tried on every pair of underwear and pants that we own and NOTHING was comfortable. So now she's wrapped in a blanket with just a T-shirt and no underwear going to her dad's house and missing school today because she literally refused to get dressed this morning. I tried to force her but she kicked, screamed,and pulled all her clothing off.

So now she's not going to school today and I researched it and found out that she definitely has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). So now I'm working on getting her into a occupational therapist but we need to get a referral and this could take at least a month. So any and all suggestions for how we can deal with this would be great.
Amie Stratton

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Jul 23, 2017
Hey... I have SPD
by: Anonymous

I get it. It's no fun. Deep pressure does work. You will have a child screaming and laughing all at the same time. It's a tickle pain feel.

After seeing them reacting less, then try the uncomfortable clothes on. But not in the mornings when you are in a hurry. If the child still balks, try putting the fabric type into a tent/fort. Get under it with him/her and read a book. Shift the child slowly over until they are touching it. Keep reading until they notice.

Trust me, it gets better.

Jul 19, 2015
My 5 year old daughter is just the same!
by: Bronwyn

My 5 year old daughter has had this condition from around about the age of 3 1/2, and it has progressively gotten worse and worse.

At first it was her dance leotard that she would refuse to wear. We only just scraped in the end of year concert before she just could not bear to wear it. Shoes are a big issue, socks are unbearable, and after an un-told number of discarded shoes, we have a compromise of her wearing 2-sizes-too-big hi-tops with no socks for school, or for playtime she has crocs.

I started making her pants based on a pattern from her pyjama pants, with light weight cotton, no tags, and a very loose elastic waist. Then I made her a wrap-around dress so that I could tie it up (very loosely of course).

But now, even these are becoming too uncomfortable. She freaks out at underwear, pants, t-shirts, and don't even try to put long sleeves on her! We did have a small number of outfits that she would wear, but now she's freaking out at these, so I'm at a loss.

Finally, after an episode of getting her into pajamas tonight, I decided to Google what was going on and I found this site. I always believed it was a hyper-sensitivity of some sort, but didn't expect a whole disorder dedicated to it! I'm so glad I'm not alone!

Tomorrow morning, going to make a doctor's appointment to get things going, only we live in a regional area, it's a long drive to the nearest city where all the specialists would be. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do at home to help?

Jun 17, 2015
possible spd
by: momof2boys

I'm reading all these comments and nodding my head yes that's my oldest child. Yes he does this or that and OMG the frustrations.

He hasn't always been so sensitive. I can understand the itchy tag or if something is too tight. I'm thinking around 3-4 months now my 6yo boy has been hypersensitive and very verbal and emotional about all of his clothes. He said he doesn't like clothes and just wants to walk around in a blanket. We can't allow this since we have a male friend living with us for an undetermined amount of time helping him back on his feet financially. So we have to explain it's inappropriate to walk around uncovered and no a blanket isn't good enough.

He whines and fusses and cries over underwear the most then the pants and socks. The sock problem was solved buying a bigger size. I took him to a shoe store and that clerk earned her pay at least 15 different pairs of shoes various styles and sizes. Until he said he liked a particular Nike sneaker. Done.

Now it's the underwear and pants/shorts. I feel put thru the wringer on this one. He was/is a size 6 in underwear but different brands again feel right one day and not the next. the same pair of underwear worn and washed & dried will not be worn again the next day! So my husband took him to the store to shop for clothes. He picked out a size 8 boxers for him. My son then picked out cargo shorts and pants which have zippers and buttons. He Hates jeans for that exact reason. So when I saw the pile of new clothes I was doubtful. We had him try on each of the items he picked out before taking the outside tags off incase we needed to return them. 6 out of 8 items were returned. The boxers obviously were not returned and were too big but he did like how they felt. Of course immediately frustrated because they wouldn't stay on his hips!

So when I went to the store the next day I returned the cargo pants he didn't want. I then picked out size 6/7 boxers, size 8 boxer briefs and size 8 briefs. He will wear the briefs to swim in the pool or under clothes (still a fight) and boxers at night to sleep in. Refuses any bathing suit no matter the size. Hates the lining. So every morning before school it's always a last minute rush to get him dressed in size 8 briefs then pull on shorts will a elastic waist and either cotton or athletic material on those shorts and any shirt that goes with them and quickly get on the socks and shoes. I have to chase him to put the clothes on him.

Once that is done it's a 5 minute distraction technique on the computer on abcya.com or my cell phone for a game on there. Then a rush to the bus. Otherwise if he is dressed too early he runs away and strips naked saying he hates clothes.

ANY SUGGESTIONS? I used to think this was just a control thing from him. Maybe not?

Apr 07, 2015
Tactile Sensitivity
by: Anonymous

My 6 year old daughter also has serious issues with clothing. OT has helped tremendously, but she often cannot tolerate underwear/shorts/pants. When we find something that works, we buy several. Her pediatrician said to let her wear what feels comfortable even if it's the same thing everyday. She wears loose dresses and puts on her shorts (she currently can't tolerate underwear) in the car before I drop her off at school and takes them off as soon as she gets in the car. It's heartbreaking, but I really try to work with her to help her be able to function. She's able to hold it together in school. Heightened emotional responses are common with SPD. What's helped me is learning about the disorder so I can better understand what she's going through.

Sep 24, 2014
Thanks for your reply
by: Anonymous

I have a Dr's appointment for her next week so that we can get her an appointment with an OT. I also made an appointment for her to see a child therapist as she's been through a lot in her young life. And yes, we always pick out her clothes the night before but the past two nights we've actually been having her try them on,then take them off,before she goes to bed to try to avoid a fighting response in the morning.

Sleep is another MAJOR thing for her. She absolutely MUST get at least 10-12 hours per night in order for her to cooperate in the morning. But sometimes, when it comes to her clothing sensitivity's, sleep doesn't even help.

Her school called me the other day because she was in the office complaining about the seems in her sleeves. She'd snuck a dirty shirt in her back pack (one that I told her she couldn't wear in the morning cuz she'd already worn it for 3 days!) But she was asking the office if she could wear it and was likely to have to get picked up from school if I didn't let her so I said "yeah, go ahead and let her wear it." But really!? I mean, if her clothing sensativity's are so bad that the school is now calling me at home because she's complaining, that seems like a real and serious issue! But thanks for the advice, I'm doing everything you suggested!
Thanks again,

Sep 23, 2014
Resources on this site...
by: Anonymous

I felt your frustration as I was reading this - We went through similar issues with my son (who has ADHD and SPD).

First, she definitely needs OT - and your referral shouldn't take a month.. The best advice I can give you right now is, be your childs advocate- and push if you need to push.

I went through several doctors before I got an official (correct) diagnosis.. (Our first doctor diagnosed my son with oppositional defiance..). Had I not been aggressive, I dont even know where we would be today.

Get that referral sooner- If your doctor needs to see her, tell them you need to get in this week. Call around - find your resources. Line them up and get moving on it. I found a doctor who specialized in SPD.. (from this site..)
OT will help -- These kids can lead healthy and functional lives...

Talk to her teacher, the principal.. let them know whats going on (if you trust and know they will support you.. our school did... )
Also, have you tried taking her shopping so she can pick out all of her clothing? What about picking it out the night before?
It will get better, but the sooner you start, the better for both of you...
Good luck - connie

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