Any Advice Appreciated!!! 4 year old with SPD - Major Issues with Clothes

by Tanya

Hello, I have a 4 year daughter who has SPD. She first started with her socks bothering her, the seams had to be perfect over her toes or she would throw a fit. Now it is so bad she won't wear them. Then it moved to her panties and pants, they have to be pulled so far down on her waist. She complains it hurts. Now it is her shirts, all she wants to wear is tank tops. She just started preschool in August and every morning it is such a struggle to find just the right clothes. We were going to an OT Therapist but since my daughter started school we had to change her schedule and now the Therapist is so booked she cannot fit her in. I am looking for a new OT. Things are getting worst with the clothes. It is such a struggle to go to the store or out to eat. Please if anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

From: Concerned Mother

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Aug 16, 2010
Clothing sensitivity - solution
by: Michelle

Hi, My daughter had major clothing sensitivities as well at that age. I got the idea from another parent and we let her pick out her cloths the night before and actually wear them to bed. She didn't seem to be as sensory at night, so this was a major resolution. Completely changed our lives actually. Got up in the morning happy and excited to get to school.

Another mom I know used to warm up the cloths as well before putting them on. She would wrap them in a heating pad, but pay attention to snaps and metal buttons. Good luck to you. My daughter is 12 now and it did get easier. Still sensory - just different.

Jul 06, 2010
SPD Help
by: Tanya

Thank you everyone for your stories, I know now I'm not alone on this.

My daughter started a pre-k program back in August and we struggled until January of 2010. The teacher was having issues with her. I got my daughters therapist involved and the therapist and myself felt the teacher did not want to take the extra time with her. I was paying for this school and was told they are a small school which offers more one on one. That was not the case, so I pulled her out and found another school where the teachers were more understanding. That turned out to be the best situation. My daughter was wearing her pants where they needed to be, she would wear her shirts and not complain as long as the shirts were a big size. We still had issues but they seem to diminish some what.

She got sick and needed to be on 4 different types of medicine, it seems when she has to take antibiotics or steroids her issues get worse. She is not is school now and the issue went from mild to severe again. She is complaining about the buttons on her pants and other things now which she never did before.

I was told that vaccinations are the cause of SPD. I was trying to do some research on I have not had much time to really look at the information. I was hoping someone would have information about this. My daughter needs to get her shots before she goes to Kindergarten. I'm not sure thats a good idea. I'm concerned if they are the cause, then what else will happen. I talked to the doctor about this and of course the doctor said no the shots have no effect like that. If anyone has any information I would appreciate it.

Sorry So Long!

Thank you,

Jan 13, 2010
the clothing battle!
by: Lisa

oh I feel your pain. Making sure favorite clothes are washed and ready for the next day; buying doubles....and maybe even larger sizes of favorite clothes. Socks, underwear out of the question, even though their drawers are full of them; and least of all the morning battles. They have to get dressed to go anywhere its a fact of life. Its a nightmare. It all started with socks for us too. I always thought it can't get any worse than this, until t-shirts and simple elastic pants became too much, even Crocs; wet bathing suits a nightmare. We were at a point where I would dress her, she would tantrum while I made sure she didn't hurt herself...until she wore herself out and couldn't fight any longer. It just became so negative, there was absolutely nothing positive to build on. We were beyond sticker charts and choices. We hit rock bottom. I found myself crying in a doctors office, and its seems there were no answers. Except maybe Meds for me!

But that was three months a go, and we are finally climbing up again, and the thing that made the difference was brushing! We did it ourselves. I couldn't wait for the O.T. ( six months of doctors, tests, wait lists) any longer. We bought some surgical brushes and watch a few u-tube demos.

My daughter still isn't wear socks or undies but she is putting her own pants on, and shirt, with no tears and actually wore a snowsuit to go snowboarding for the first time! I have stickers charts working now, and she agrees to make choices in stores. New boots she'll wear, and mittens! mittens! The brushing has just desensitized her enough that we have something to build on. I wish I had of tried this when she was 3 1/2 when started to see it. My daughter is almost 7 now....and we've been through it all.
I hope someone read this and doesn't have to go through what we went through. It's real and it's beyond behavior modification.

We are still continuing the OT testing and getting her help through school, I know this is a life long thing and its important to have professional help. As a mom I needed something immediately and Brushing gave us something positive to build on. Good luck. Remember its real and your not crazy or a bad mom.

Dec 22, 2009
Hang in there
by: Julie

My daughter also has clothing issues. I found seamless socks online and am going to try those. She can only wear certain clothing styles I never buy anything without her coming with me. We have to do tagless everything. I don't even argue with her anymore about clothing choices. If she wants to wear the same shirt all week I just make sure it's clean.

It is so very difficult. She would go off for an hour over a tag. My hubby and I would have to tag team just to make it through.

Nov 27, 2009
Züpers might be a solution
by: Wendy


I feel your pain, believe me. My daughter, now 6, has had struggles all her life with clothing, especially socks. But also, I noticed that she fell down more than other kids, as she often tripped or bumped into things due to her inability to integrate her body into the space around her.

Anyway, as an already established professional clothing designer, I had an "aha" moment one day while trying to figure out how to help her. The result was my new line of leggings called Züpers which have removable neoprene knee pads (heart shaped, of course), come in fun, hip, modern patterns and are durbzle and UV coated.

My daughter loves them because they are silky soft, have a tagless label, and super comfy flat seams as well as a gusseted crotch. she wears them everyday.

You can check them out at

Please let me know if they might help you and her!

Good luck!
Wendy Feller

Nov 09, 2009
Worth a Try
by: Anonymous

What I did with my daughter was take her to a store and let her pick out her own clothes. She could feel them first and decide on ones that appealed to her. We would take them home and try them on. Once we found clothes that worked, I would buy multiple sets of those same outfits. Make sure there are no buttons, no collars. If there is a team or cartoon character, often they will buy in a little bit more. You just have to find the right type. Fleece, sweat pants have worked very well for us.

Nov 08, 2009
You have to...
by: kim

Do OT at home with her, regularly.
My son needs in-put about every 20 minutes.
I have provided him with all the things he needs around the house, so he just gets it, as he needs it.
Ask for a sensory diet from her OT, since she cant see her.
Tell the OT, you have to do OT at home with her (which we all know , we should all be doing.)
You need sensory things all over your house, so she can help herself regulate.
Her OT will know what items she would need, and all the things she was doing with her in OT.
You have to give your daughter sensory in-put.
Her OT will provide you with a sensory diet for her.
Good luck, i know..............

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