Tactile defensiveness

by Karin
(Abu Dhabi, UAE)

I have a 7 year old daughter who showed a lot of resistance to changing clothes in the past 2 years, or even washing them. She is stuck on one particular skirt and a vest (it's been 3 years). I have to secretly wash them when they're dirty and stretch them so she wont notice their texture changed.

Now i'm having a lot of difficulty dressing her up to school ...it's a continuous, never ending battle .her father would force her to get dressed and get in car in order for her not to miss school..she's missed a lot of days from school.

How can I get her to handle her clothes until my order arrives (i ordered some clothes specially made for SPDs children)..?

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May 22, 2011
Tactile defensiveness -part 2
by: Karin

Thank you Debbie and Anonymous.

We had an assessment with the OT yesterday and he said although my daughter shows some of Tactile Defensiveness symptoms she actually doesn't have it. What she does need to do is get rid of her obsessive behavior by helping her gradually to quit that habit.I am quite reluctant to take that as a confirmation, though. This morning before school, she could not wear her undies, she preferred to wear the bottom piece of her swim suit, but a little wet! she actually went to the tap, wet the bottom piece and wore it, she ws most comfortable like that..

She didnt throw a fit about her uniform for the first time in a month though.

She also stays nude all day, and sleeps nude too, can't get anything on her ..I will begin an awarding system with her today,and hope it works. Any advice would be much appreciated.

May 22, 2011
by: DebbieKinIL

You daughter sounds just like my DD. We had only 2 outfits that worked. Ask your DD what part of her body do the clothes feel like they are uncomfortable or even hurting. You need to identify the area that is giving her trouble to shop for clothes. You may want to address this by asking what makes the clothes she can tolerate work?

You may be surprised, by what your DD tells you. Just by asking, my DD said that she can not stand things on her waist - the clothes hurt her there- so that was why she didn't like underwear- it hit her waist wrong. We had to come up with a solution- we found high rise or very low riding underpants and then she like the feel of wearing a leotard (one piece) as underwear. Yoga pants worked also.

Also here's some ideas for dressing: give lots of time dressing, have her be distracted while dressing-like watching tv or playing favorite video. Also do you do the brushing technique? One of the OT's had my DD jump 10 times, also jumprope is good, and then we compressed her joints by pressing arms and legs. Do anything that uses the major motor skills, to reset you DD. Hugs and rubs!! and then out the door asap when you have clothes on- school should be OK, cause it is a distraction in itself. Also, I allow my DD to change into a real comfy nightgown after school,(her comfy, de-stressing outfit) if she needs too. Also watch the weather. You DD may be sensitive to barometric pressure changes-my DD is

I line dry every piece of clothing for my DD. Also habitation on new things and giving rewards for wearing new clothes,make sure the reward is something that she really, really wants, all of these things helped-but sometime they didn't and there was a meltdown, as we call it"a clothes explosion" then stamping then finally putting the clothes on.

May 19, 2011
by: Anonymous

I buy my son soft outfits, cut out tags then pick out 2 in the morning and show him both. I then ask him which one he wants to wear and most of the time he just picks one of the 2 outfits I picked out for him. He used to yell and throw a fit when I would go to dress him. "I don't want to wear that! No not my red shorts!" Letting him feel as if he made his own decision has helped, as well as buying only soft/flexible clothes. HTH

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