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If you have a kid who's sensory sensitive, particularly to clothing...


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How far do you bend over backwards to accommodate, and when do you just finally say, "Put something on your body or we're never leaving the house again!"? DD8's sensitivity died down quite a bit right around the time her food pickiness eased off too, and I was so grateful. We had a good year of no real struggles with the clothing, and even shoes were pretty good. But since we had to start transitioning back to winter clothing, things have gotten very difficult again.

 

She'll swear up and down that there are no pants that she can wear in her drawer (which is filled to the brim with pants). I'll hand her a pair of pants that she tried on and liked in the store or that she wore four days ago before I washed them, and she'll tell me she doesn't like them, they're not comfortable. And right now shirts are the worst--it has to be long enough in the body but not too long OR too short in the sleeves. It can't be too tight, but it can't be too baggy either. It can't have any design on it that might be scratchy from the inside. I keep buying clothes for her to try, and she won't wear any of it :(

 

Getting dressed is too overwhelming for her in the morning, so she asks me to pick out her clothes. I do and she says she can't wear what I picked, and goes and picks out her own. She had a total meltdown because she couldn't find a shirt she liked last week, and said the only solution is for me to take her shopping, but her likes and dislikes change on a daily basis, and even newly bought and officially approved items suddenly become unacceptable for no discernible reason! And then when I'm putting away her summer clothes, she comes across two spaghetti-strapped tunic style tops that I tried to offer her repeatedly and was told no, she hates the straps, and says, "Oh, these are so pretty, I wish I'd seen these earlier in the summer!" and tries them on and loves them :confused: :banghead:

 

I'm sorry, this is turning into a rant, sheesh. Today's battle was just the last straw though, and I'm out of coping strategies. I'm trying to institute the rule that they have to get dressed first thing in the morning--ideally before breakfast but after if they must (DD5 still stains every shirt she wears, so sometimes it's better to wait). Afterward, they they do a few morning chores and we get on with our day. But lately, we've been having fits of drama over clothing that set us back an hour or more, and my patience is so gone.

 

So, back to my original question. Does there come a point where you just say, "I'm sorry it's not comfortable to you, but you have to wear it and that's that?" Do you have some other method of dealing with this outside of spending thousands of dollars on clothing? I would love any suggestions from others who have clothing-sensitive kids.

 

TIA!

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My advice is that if she does not see an Occupational Therapist, to visit one soon. They will help her work through this, and they will give you good advice on how to deal with it.

 

I know it is frustrating. I have a 4YO who has some minor sensory issues. I have learned to just look past it or it will drive me crazy. He likes to lick things (and things he shouldn't be licking, like floors, doors...)and when he eats something smooth, sometimes he will bathe his face, chest and hair with it. I just shake my head and give him a bath.

 

Maybe your daughter has too many choices for clothes, and she can't make any choice because there are too many choices. Maybe hide a bunch of her clothes and give her 5 pairs of pants and 5 shirts to choose from and see if that works. Kids who have sensory issues, it's hard to understand if you have never had them, but they can't function past the sensory issue if things aren't just so. My son freaks out when someone rings the doorbell or there are loud noises (a truck, a loud airplane). I think he has sensitive ears.

 

I think you need to be sensitive to her sensitivity. I'm not saying this in a snarky manner, so please don't read it as that. It sucks, I know. Occupational Therapy is normally covered by insurance. If she isn't going already, call an OT to set up an appointment. It will probably make both of your lives easier. ;)

 

Good luck.

 

Vicki

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Oh, I know EXACTLY how you feel! My 6yo DD is starting to outgrow it, though. Honestly, with issues still that problematic at age 8 I would consider an eval for SPD. If DD hadn't suddenly had massive improvements over the last few months, I would already have sought one. I still may, if her improvement stalls. (We have other issues, like hair washing. She flips out if water gets on her face, so she won't wash her own hair, but me washing it isn't exactly going to work forever!)

 

What we have done about clothing is figured out exactly what all she doesn't like. For my DD, this is seems anywhere but the usual spots (bottom, top, wrists, arms). That means no empire waist shirts or dresses, no ruching, etc. She doesn't like tight pants or lace...of course there are others, but I won't bore you with all of them. Could you sit down with your daughter and make a list of exactly what she doesn't like? We avoid DD's problem sorts of clothes. Then whenever we buy anything, we make sure she likes it AFTER we get home. She has to try it on and wear it for a few minutes before we remove tags. If it's suddenly not okay, we take it back, even though that is annoying. Better that than be stuck with it. Once she says something is okay, that's it. She has to wear it. I've actually given her an age appropriate, but still scientific, explanation of desensitization. She understands it, so now when something she has already okayed bothers her, I just tell her that she has to wear it for a while so that her body can get used to it, and once her body is used to it she won't feel whatever is bothering her anymore. That has actually been the biggest help. I don't tell her it's no big deal, I don't tell her it's not bothering her or can't be that bad. I just remind her that it felt okay before, so the problem is just that she's paying too much attention to the way it feels and once she stops paying attention, she'll stop feeling it. It really works for us. :) Editing to say that it's not 100%, of course. Sometimes she'll come back 15 minutes later and say, "Mom, it really IS bothering me." In that case, she doesn't have to wear it, of course. But 9 times out of 10, telling her to give it a few minutes works. It didn't work until we explained how your body gets desensitized to clothing, but once we did it worked.

Edited by Snowfall
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I don't know why she's being picky on a daily basis. My son's clothing sensitivity doesn't fluctuate. He simply does not wear clothing he doesn't like and sticks to only the stuff that he does feel comfortable with wearing, even if it doesn't match.

 

My son has 2 kinds of pants and 2 kinds of shirts, in different colors. It's been that way for years. He wore the same exact style of shoe through 4 sizes before he had to move into men's shoes. Now he wears slip-on shoes like Vans and only moves into a new shoe when he outgrows one size. (I just bought him a size 10 tonight!) Variety doesn't matter to him so he's happy to wear a similar style of pants and shirt every day of the week as long as he feels comfortable in it.

 

It's gotten better as he's gotten older but it won't ever go away. It's part of his lifestyle. I'm helping him learn how to find his comfort level without bothering other people. I don't battle over clothing and I actually save alot of money because he doesn't require a bunch of clothing like my girls do. His tastes are very simple and easy to accommodate.

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This is EXACTLY what we're dealing with right now with dd4. It's driving me absolutely in sane. She does the exact same things that your dd does. Ugh.

 

You know, I've noticed that she's actually better when we're traveling, when she has less choices and options. I pack the bare minimum--stuff that I hope won't cause melt downs. She might have a small complaint or 2, but nothing like at home.

 

I'm thinking that I need to pare down her stuff. She needs fewer choices. She's also starting to insist on seeing what I have stored in her closet. Ugh. I've always stored clothes to be grown in to in the closet of the child who will wear them next, so there's a lot of things in there that she can't wear yet, but she wants to dig through them everyday. It's making me crazy. I'm going to have to take all of it out and store it elsewhere.

 

Her OT suggested a website for seamless socks and stuff. I haven't looked at it yet. She's been refusing to wear socks since the weather has gotten cooler. She has a really hard time transitioning between seasons, too.

 

I do cut out tags and such and buy as carefully as I can. After that, they really do just have to quit fussing and wear clothes!;)

 

HTH,

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I don't know why she's being picky on a daily basis.

 

I think that's totally normal for highly sensitive kids. My DD's always been like that. I just assumed it was normal for kids with sensory issues. For her, shoes were particularly problematic until recently. We've purchased at least 5 pairs of shoes that she absolutely wouldn't wear more than 5 or 6 times - even though the first few times she thought they were great. Then there are all the tops she was okay to wear at first, then a week later hated, then another month later was fine to wear again. She goes through spurts where she doesn't mind if water gets on her face, then all of the sudden one day she'll have a total meltdown over it dripping down her forehead when I'm washing her hair.

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Thank you all. This is the ONLY thing she's sensitive about--she's fine with food, textures, noise, water, everything else--so I try to just go with the flow on this one. It's just really been driving me crazy for the past few weeks, and I'm at my wits end.

 

vfnelson, do you really think it's reasonable to go to an OT over this one issue? It seems so crazy to me, but I don't know what else to do. The funny thing is that I'm sensitive as well, so I can totally identify with her (don't even ask me to touch polyester--I actually shudder just thinking about it!). But I've also learned about desensitization, as snowfall said, so I know that although my jeans are too tight when I first put them on, soon they'll be stretched and baggy and I'll be hitching them up. She refuses to even go so far as to try on things that she thinks will be uncomfortable, even though she freely admits that I've been right often in the past about an item she tried on and then got comfortable in. I guess I'm wondering how much of this is pure stubbornness mixed with some sensitivity issues :confused:

 

Night Elf, I don't know why it migrates too. I guess that's part of why I'm asking here--I'm wondering if anyone has had success with just saying, "I'm sorry but you have to wear it" and letting desensitization take its course, or if that always results in meltdowns. Of course I don't force her to wear something like jeans, which are her nemesis, but something like a shirt that she thinks comes up too high when she raises her arms way over her head? I might be willing to force that issue...

 

ETA: I've thought about taking out all but the few items I know she'll wear, but I haven't done so for two reasons: 1) She only has a few shirts she's always comfortable with, and I just can't do laundry that often, so if she's absolutely forced to, she'll manage to find something else. It's just that the drama that goes with it is so overwhelming every morning. 2) What she'll wear changes, so I feel like leaving all her pants in her drawer really ends up giving her more options in the long run, since pants she hates today might end up being acceptable two weeks from now. Maybe I'm still wrong though. I don't know!

Edited by melissel
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vfnelson, do you really think it's reasonable to go to an OT over this one issue?

 

I know you didn't ask me, but I do think it's reasonable, since it's interfering with her life. If it were just a workable quirk, then no biggie, but if it's causing major drama almost every day, that's something worth addressing.

 

I guess that's part of why I'm asking here--I'm wondering if anyone has had success with just saying, "I'm sorry but you have to wear it" and letting desensitization take its course, or if that always results in meltdowns. Of course I don't force her to wear something like jeans, which are her nemesis, but something like a shirt that she thinks comes up too high when she raises her arms way over her head? I might be willing to force that issue...

 

It works for us, but it absolutely didn't work AT ALL until we explained how desensitization happens. :) If DD is in a particularly difficult spot, I'll go in, pick out 2 tops and 2 bottoms that are normally "okay", then tell her to pick from that. If it doesn't work, then she can switch any article of the 4, but she has to wear 1 of those tops and 1 of those bottoms. I do think having too many choices can be overwhelming when a kid is having a bad sensory day. It's obviously not that I care what top or bottom DD wears. I couldn't care less. It's just that if I leave her to her own devices, she might pull out 12 shirts before she settles on one - or at least that's what would've happened a couple months ago. It's much better now.

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There are times my son just has to wear his dress pants and tennis shoes. He went camping today with DH. It was windy and around 55 degrees. He wore shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops. I packed him pants, long sleeves, socks and tennis shoes. I told him to change when he got cold.

 

He wears flips flops all winter -- with socks. I have had a hard time finding a new pair of flips flops (they're Dawgs slip on rubberish sandals) that fit him. The ones that are his size are too tall around the front. The ones my size were too tall as well. He just happens to be wearing a size too small that he stretched out.

 

It is frustrating. I generally let him wear whatever he wants, and when he HAS to wear something in particular, he knows I mean it. He usually adjusts just fine. I do bring a change of clothes so he can change as soon as possible. Often, he gets used to the pants and tennis shoes, though.

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having too many choices can be overwhelming when a kid is having a bad sensory day.

 

Yes. My dd struggled with this at one point, particularly at the transitions from warm weather to cool weather clothing, and then back again in the spring.

 

Would it be possible to put away most of the clothing, keep out the things you know she'll wear, then let her "shop" from those clothes when she needs something different? Or choose her clothes for the week ahead of time? That way she's still got some choices and control, but she's not overwhelmed by the choices in that moment as she's dressing.

 

Is she able to articulate what it is that she finds challenging or acceptable in clothing? It might be worth a visit to an OT to talk about brushing and other sensory techniques that might help with tactile sensitivity.

 

And whether or not it is appropriate to force the issue really truly depends on your dd. If you're sensing that saying, "We're out of choices. I'm sorry but you'll have to wear it," is worth a try, it might be time for that. Mom intuition is pretty good.

 

:grouphug:

 

It gets better. My dd's sensory issues still exist, but she's usually able to manage them on her own.

 

Cat

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One suggestion on the money issue- make her pay for anything she buys and does not wear (unless the tags are left on and the clothes can be returned). This solved our problem of buying too many clothes. Give her a small clothing allowance if you need to. I spend very little on clothes, because as a previous poster mentioned, she only has 2 pairs of pants and a few shirts she will wear. Get rid of everything else and do laundry more often. It is not worth the battle.

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My eldest was like this for years as a little. No seams, no lace, no fitted waists, nothing but soft cotton, by the time she was dressed every day, I would be the one crying.

She wasn't doing it because she wanted to, they truly bothered her and however difficult it was for me, it was worse for her.

Keeping minimal clothes we both knew were on the ok list in her drawers and closet helped greatly. 3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, that sort of thing. Nothing she might wear one day and not the next.

Other than that, she did outgrow most of it.

She still can't wear lace, wool, bras with seams, anything tight or high necklines at 14 but she is capable of dealing with it better.

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My dd10 has clothing sensitivities and every once in a while, she'll balk at wearing something that was previously "okay". It's not every day, like you're describing, but it's happened enough that I've felt my patience wearing thin. Very thin.

 

But if I express my irritation, it just makes it worse. So, I take all those clothes and I pack them up for her younger sister (who now has this enormous, fabulous wardrobe...sigh).

 

I also frequently shop at thrift stores and buy everything they have that I know she'll wear: yoga pants, simple tees, and sweatshirts.

 

She runs out of clothing much faster than her sister, but I usually do at least one load of laundry a day. Tossing a pair of her pants in isn't a problem. However, this year my new plan is to teach her how to do her own laundry. She's gotten tall enough to reach down to the bottom of the washing machine, which means it's time for her to learn how to do laundry.

 

If my dd were doing what yours is, I'd sit her down very seriously and talk to her about how important this is: getting dressed should not consume the day and stress the whole family out. I'd go through her entire wardrobe with her and clean out every single item she no longer wants, to show her I'm sympathetic to her situation and trying to help her find a solution. Then I'd have her come up with an outfit for every day of the week (a Monday outfit, a Tuesday outfit, etc.), plus an extra outfit that's slightly nicer for things like church or holiday gatherings. Everything else would be taken out of the dresser to make things simpler. Then getting dressed wouldn't also encompass difficult decision-making processes.

 

Then I'd have her sign a written agreement that she's chosen these outfits and agrees to wear them on the appropriate day. If she began to feel something wasn't comfortable, she would be allowed to schedule a time to discuss it with me. Ideally, I'd schedule meetings with her regularly, specifically to discuss her wardrobe: is anything getting to small? do you need new socks? etc.

 

But this kind of thing is how my dd is wired. She likes things in writing. I don't know if it would work for you. It's just an idea that popped into my head.

 

I feel for you, though. I know how frustrating it can be dealing with the clothing sensitivities.

 

Hang in there.

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When we switch clothes for the season, I have my dd try everything on and make sure that it feels good on her body. If it is itchy, uncomfortable or whatever it does not go in the drawer. I have her check things out when we are shopping no matter if it is a thrift store or brand new. When we get hand-me-downs those she won't wear because of sensitivity issues go back in the box to be passed down to my younger dd or a friend's child.

 

I try to head things like this off at the pass so we don't have to worry about it day to day. I have sensitivity issues as well so I know what it is like when your clothes "hurt." :001_smile:

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I feel your pain. I went through this with shoes and socks with ds1. One month, I bought him about 13 pairs of shoes because he would try them on in the store, walk around a bit and say he liked them. Then, we'd get them home and the next day, he wouldn't wear them. When I would try to force him to wear a pair, we'd have what I like to call Rain Man episodes- you know, like when Rain Man's brother tries to get him on the plane? I have never found a pair of dress shoes that he will wear, so at special events at temple or at weddings, he wears his shiny silver and green sneakers. Lovely.

 

We still have sock issues. I've purchased every brand of sock known to mankind, and the kid still can't find a pair he will actually keep on his feet for more than an hour. He has some clothing issues, too, but fortunately, he has enough pants (has to be elastic waist band, so he wears a lot of sweats), and T shirts that he has deigned comfortable enough to wear. I do try to buy things with the tags printed in, because tags were always a problem.

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This is what I do. (Sorry if these are repeats of others, I didn't have time to read all the comments.)

Both of my dc are sensitive. I never purchase anything that isn't 100% cotton for them. This in itself has been very helpful but not always easy. My dd I never get her anything that has extra seems, not empire waist, no ruffles, no gathered sleves etc. I make her dresses to accommodate.

My ds wears Ts and jeans, that is it.

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I don't know why she's being picky on a daily basis. My son's clothing sensitivity doesn't fluctuate. He simply does not wear clothing he doesn't like and sticks to only the stuff that he does feel comfortable with wearing, even if it doesn't match.

 

My son has 2 kinds of pants and 2 kinds of shirts, in different colors. It's been that way for years. He wore the same exact style of shoe through 4 sizes before he had to move into men's shoes. Now he wears slip-on shoes like Vans and only moves into a new shoe when he outgrows one size. (I just bought him a size 10 tonight!) Variety doesn't matter to him so he's happy to wear a similar style of pants and shirt every day of the week as long as he feels comfortable in it.

 

It's gotten better as he's gotten older but it won't ever go away. It's part of his lifestyle. I'm helping him learn how to find his comfort level without bothering other people. I don't battle over clothing and I actually save alot of money because he doesn't require a bunch of clothing like my girls do. His tastes are very simple and easy to accommodate.

:iagree: This is dd too. There is no fit throwing or drama about clothes. She wears dresses and sweat pants most of the time. She will wear leggins, but not tights. This has been the way it is since she was old enough to communicate - not specifically talk.

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I second the recommendation for OT. It sounds like it could be helpful to her.

 

Also, I have heard the advice to accomodate during the early years and acclimate as they get older. I think your dd has reached the "acclimate" stage. I would go through her clothing and have her choose items which are acceptable, put the others away and require her to choose from the acceptable items (as long as they are seasonally appropriate). I wouldn't go shopping every time she decides that the clothes which were fine last week are not fine now. Good luck!

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I have skimmed the other comments but might have missed something. If I have, I apologize in advance.

 

Have you tried switching laundry detergent? My DH and DD are extremely sensitive and need only "Free & Clear" detergent, double or triple rinsed depending on current sensitivities. Yes, really. They can tell when I don't double rinse. I can see a difference if the clothing has been washed at Grandma's in her detergent vs. my detergent. They jerk about, scratch, and ultimately have to change to something washed "properly". They don't know what's wrong, just that the clothing is irritating them.

 

I also have to buy only 100% cotton for their clothing. DD has to have soft leggings or yoga pants. Some jeans work, but I have to be careful with them. Knit shirts, hoodies, soft sweaters. Anything that touches her skin has to be cotton. Same with DH - though he can wear woven shirts and dress pants - as long as they are cotton. DD can try something on and it be ok at the store and not ok at home - it wasn't on her skin long enough to make a decent evaluation at the store. So I stick with 100% cotton - maybe 90% with some items, but I have a plan (camisole, usually) if it starts irritating.

 

I know your DD is being difficult and I really do understand - getting dressed here can be a nightmare. You say that this started up again with the switch in seasons. Could she a skin condition that's making her more itchy? DD gets more sensitive in winter and needs more lotion (her skin just sucks it up!) to be comfortable, even with just cotton clothing. We go through a lot of fragrance free heavy duty lotion in winter. Turning on the heat really dries out her skin.

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My dd4's SPD has improved SO much with OT. I got her into jeans for the first time in years without her freaking out. She is most comfortable in a loose-fitting dress and soft, cotton leggings. That's what she wears most of the time. If we run out of dresses, though, she will actually agree to wear pants.

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You might try turning the clothes inside out. And you might want to reduce the choices to just a few outfits. I buy several items exactly the same when we find something comfortable and then try to replace it in the next size up when it is outgrown. Try fisherman's sandles for comfortable shoes. Try smartwool socks (expensive but worth every penny) if your child can bear the wool. Wool itches me horribly but this is unscratchy wool that most people can't feel as wool. I can feel it a little, but it goes away after a few minutes and the socks are fitted so they don't bother me, and the wool is less hot in summer and less cold in winter. My picky son feels the same way. Try to buy only the softest, smoothest of cottons for the rest of the clothes. Try blouses rather than teeshirts (don't restrict the neck). Try not to pick things that pull over the head. Try line drying and then shaking vigorously. For some reason, dryer dried clothes are worse. Try non-scented laundry detergent. We like the Arm+Hammer stuff. Try flannel-lined pants or skirts. You might try putting coats and shoes on once you get outside (and they can feel the need). You might letting them just bring the coat rather than wear it. You might try letting them skip underware. You might try letting them keep their pjs on under their clothes. You definately want to say firmly but sympathetically that it stinks that people have to wear clothes, but it isn't polite not to and if they can't choose in 3 minutes, you are going to choose for them and they are going to have to wear that. I'd only let them change their mind once. Again, I'd be sympathetic but explain that you are too busy to put so much time into this and all their clothes are generally ok once they get used to them. Try running a humidifier in the winter time. Try not bathing too often (weird as it sounds this works) and not washing the clothes more often than necessary. That is how I have dealt with it, anyway.

 

This sounds rather familiar. Sigh. I think my husband was this way and as a result, he saved us from some of the problems we might have had. He completely freaked out at the idea of putting anything but the softest of cottons on the children when they were little, the children themselves freaked out when anything was pulled over their heads, and I freaked out at the idea of their feet being encased in hard shoes and not growing the proper muscles. The end result was very soft loose clothing, fitted socks, and light shoes (if any) or loose rubber boots. Even so, my youngest wore his clothes inside out for awhile. He was the worst. When he was out of diapers, I made colourful pants out of light cotton using a pair of sweatpants as a pattern and he wore those until he was 9 or 10 when he switched to cargo pants, preferably lined with flannel. He wore soft cotton teeshirts inside out until he was 12 or so, when he switched to boy's cotton short-sleeved shirts in the summer (buttons down the front) and flannel shirts in the winter (but he is picky about what sort of flannel). There have been years when he didn't wear a jacket unless he was going to play in the snow. He honestly wasn't cold enough to want to. I kept checking his hands and they were toasty, so I guess his body learned to keep itself warm. My children have always worn their soft flannel pj bottoms as long underware when they need an extra layer.

 

We really lucked out as far as shoes go. When he outgrew the soft leather toddler ones, I managed to find a pair of buttery leather fisherman's sandles that you could bend in half. Stride Rite had them from toddler sizes up through their largest boys sizes, at which point Sketchers picks up. He wears these for everything from rock climbing to walking from Massachusetts to DC to sailing. They seem to get wet in sea water repeatedly and dry out again fine, just like tevas, but are far more comfortable than tevas. The toe is closed so sticks don't get in when running through the woods. I have been so grateful over the years that I've been able to tell him that he needn't worry, he can wear these his whole life. At 16, he is just as attatched to them as he was when he was 5. He wears rubber boots, with or without socks, when it is too snowy to wear his sandles. He puts smartwool socks under them when he needs extra warmth.

 

Shopping is a nightmare, because we head out looking for very specific items. I'm glad he isn't a girl because then we'd have to deal with pretty and need a greater variety. Once we've shopped, though, it isn't a problem. Well, we fight over whether he needs to bring a coat with him, but even that has died down, now that he is in the second half of his teens. It probably helps that I am pretty picky myself about the way things feel.

 

-Nan

Edited by Nan in Mass
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I think that's totally normal for highly sensitive kids.

 

No, I mean about being able to wear a shirt on one day and then refusing to wear it on another because now she thinks it's uncomfortable. I was saying that my son would wear the same clothes over and over because they were the only things that were comfortable. He wouldn't wear one shirt one day and then refuse to wear it another day. He's been like this for 11 years now.

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Night Elf, I don't know why it migrates too. I guess that's part of why I'm asking here--I'm wondering if anyone has had success with just saying, "I'm sorry but you have to wear it" and letting desensitization take its course, or if that always results in meltdowns. Of course I don't force her to wear something like jeans, which are her nemesis, but something like a shirt that she thinks comes up too high when she raises her arms way over her head? I might be willing to force that issue...

 

My ds14 doesn't like stiff pants or anything with zippers and buttons. He wears only athletic pants that have an elastic waist band and aren't constricting on any part of his body.

 

And I'm afraid I agree with your dd about shirts that show my tummy when I lift my hands. That is such a bit NO for me personally. Ewww... :tongue_smilie:

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Cotton clothing was suggested to me years ago especially the Hanna Andersson sweats, long johns and tees. Their cotton is softer than any other.

 

They are worth every penny imo. They wash and hold up to more than one child wearing them day after day, wash after wash. (And I wash in hot water.) I always pass them down to the cousins or the resale value is high. Expensive, but they have great sales and customer service is awesome. I've returned one boys shirt that had seams across the chest, after it was washed and worn once. They have European sizing and the cuffs make them last most kids around two or more years per size. That equals a great $$$savings to me.

 

Ymmv, but if they are comfy and in clothes weather appropriate...Mom's life is better.;)

Edited by Tammyla
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This is a message from my 8yo dd. I told her your story (because she's exactly like your dd) and asked her what you should do.

 

From dd:

 

Tell her to go through all the clothes and have her dd pick the clothes she thinks she can wear. Then put the rest away. It's too overwhelming to have full drawers.

 

Me now:

 

I can attest to this! Dd is much better when she has less choices. She really does get overwhelmed with too much in her dresser.

 

This was a great little exercise with her! As I explained your story, she said, "Wow, she's just like me!" :lol: HAHAHA And I was thinking, "Uhh, YEAH, ya think!" ;)

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My advice is that if she does not see an Occupational Therapist, to visit one soon. They will help her work through this, and they will give you good advice on how to deal with it.

 

I know it is frustrating. I have a 4YO who has some minor sensory issues. I have learned to just look past it or it will drive me crazy. He likes to lick things (and things he shouldn't be licking, like floors, doors...)and when he eats something smooth, sometimes he will bathe his face, chest and hair with it. I just shake my head and give him a bath.

 

Maybe your daughter has too many choices for clothes, and she can't make any choice because there are too many choices. Maybe hide a bunch of her clothes and give her 5 pairs of pants and 5 shirts to choose from and see if that works. Kids who have sensory issues, it's hard to understand if you have never had them, but they can't function past the sensory issue if things aren't just so. My son freaks out when someone rings the doorbell or there are loud noises (a truck, a loud airplane). I think he has sensitive ears.

 

I think you need to be sensitive to her sensitivity. I'm not saying this in a snarky manner, so please don't read it as that. It sucks, I know. Occupational Therapy is normally covered by insurance. If she isn't going already, call an OT to set up an appointment. It will probably make both of your lives easier. ;)

 

Good luck.

 

Vicki

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

No matter how many accommodations you make, it will never be enough -so please address the neurological issue. Your life will be sooooo much easier. My son had multiple sensory issues. I didn't realize how little he smiled until after he had been doing therapy. While he will always be "sensitive" he can function like a normal person. We did not use an OT (as we were getting no where in finding good therapy.) We ended up with NACD and had fantastic success.

 

Fewer choices is better. Have her pick out 5 of the least objectionable items (or you take two things and do the optometrist "better or worse" decision tree with her.)

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T

vfnelson, do you really think it's reasonable to go to an OT over this one issue? It seems so crazy to me, but I don't know what else to do. The funny thing is that I'm sensitive as well, so I can totally identify with her (don't even ask me to touch polyester--I actually shudder just thinking about it!). But I've also learned about desensitization, as snowfall said, so I know that although my jeans are too tight when I first put them on, soon they'll be stretched and baggy and I'll be hitching them up.

 

nof vfnelson but ... My son's evaluator explained things to me like this - imagine wearing a shirt with a patch of sandpaper where the tag is or strips of bark for seams. Over time, those areas will become more sensitive, rather than less. Your jeans actually did stretch and become looser. The "sandpaper" and "bark" didn't go away.

 

She refuses to even go so far as to try on things that she thinks will be uncomfortable, even though she freely admits that I've been right often in the past about an item she tried on and then got comfortable in. I guess I'm wondering how much of this is pure stubbornness mixed with some sensitivity issues :confused:

 

 

The stubbornness is part of the sensitivity issue. I saw my son become so much more amenable in every area of his life after we addressed the neurological problem of SPD. Their senses are being bombarded with stimuli that the brain does not know what to do with. Dealing with that on a minute by minute basis is exhausting, frustrating, irritating and certainly will not bring out the best in people.

 

<snip> I guess that's part of why I'm asking here--I'm wondering if anyone has had success with just saying, "I'm sorry but you have to wear it" and letting desensitization take its course, or if that always results in meltdowns. Of course I don't force her to wear something like jeans, which are her nemesis, but something like a shirt that she thinks comes up too high when she raises her arms way over her head? I might be willing to force that issue...

 

 

This is not how desensitization works in SPD - this is not how you re-teach the brain how to process information. They can surpress the bad behavior that comes from the constant irritation for a while, but it would take an exceptional person to be all sweet and cheerful all the time when dealing with this. To make life work, you will have to force her to wear something, but you also need to realize that, while you don't understand it, you have to be compassionate about how hard it is for her.

 

I hope I don't sound harsh here - I don't mean to. I have lived with this and I get the frustration you are experiencing. For us, every day was one frustration after another. He wouldn't wear anything with buttons, pockets, zippers or snaps for years. He changed his mind daily on what was acceptable and what wasn't. He would tie and re-tie his shoes 10 times before we left the house because they weren't the "right tightness." He would be scowling, irritable and picking fights after church (because he was wearing clothes that he hated, because he didn't like all the noise and people, because he was holding it all together for that long.) So much for that grace received;). It really colored my relationship with my son. Unconsciously, I began to see him as the "problem child." That is one of my biggest regrets and it brings me to tears to think about the rift this caused. It took a couple years for our relationship to recover.

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I'm more on the "deal with it" side than most, probably, as my dh works with special needs kiddos for a living, so he helps me figure out a path to the closest thing to normal. :001_smile:

 

My 12 yo dd has issues with socks, shoes, jeans, collars, sleeves, underclothes, etc. She is much, much better now than when she was younger. I make the concessions I can, and then she meets me halfway. But it's a conversation we have once, not a daily battle. If we buy it, she wears it. We spend quite a bit of time shopping for each itme, but we limit the amount of clothing we purchase for our dc anyway, so it works out. A few well-fitting, comfortable items that she will wear are better than a drawer full of clothing.

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I think I would clean out her drawers and leave her with 3 pairs of cute comfy yoga pants, tunic tops, and matching socks -- all cotton, tagless, and comfortable as PJs. Put everything else away in boxes so that there are no overwhelming choices. Wash them all in Tide free or Charlie's or something similar that is scent free, non-toxic. Then give her a little extra time to get dressed -- 'honey we are leaving in 45 minutes, you need to be dressed and ready to go in 30 minutes'.

 

No drama, no audience, no multiple choices, no overflowing drawers, everything super clear cut and known to be very comfortable.

 

If that doesn't work, *then* I would go to an OT.

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Some have suggested OT for your dd but if this is the only area she really struggles in, I would say that OT would be over the top. Clothing IS an area where we can accommodate. I am the same way as my dd. That's why I only buy certain fabrics.

 

However, if it stretches into other areas of her life that she will need to learn to cope with rather than use her own way, then yes, OT is warranted. We can't stop noisy toilets and crowded stores, but we CAN change what we wear.

 

I never did answer your question about just dealing with it. Yes we have been at that point many times. There is one day in particular I know it will happen so I've learned to be prepared in advance. Dd has learned what she likes and doesn't like though and that has made things run more smoothly.

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Excellent advice!

 

I think I would clean out her drawers and leave her with 3 pairs of cute comfy yoga pants, tunic tops, and matching socks -- all cotton, tagless, and comfortable as PJs. Put everything else away in boxes so that there are no overwhelming choices. Wash them all in Tide free or Charlie's or something similar that is scent free, non-toxic. Then give her a little extra time to get dressed -- 'honey we are leaving in 45 minutes, you need to be dressed and ready to go in 30 minutes'.

 

No drama, no audience, no multiple choices, no overflowing drawers, everything super clear cut and known to be very comfortable.

 

If that doesn't work, *then* I would go to an OT.

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nof vfnelson but ... My son's evaluator explained things to me like this - imagine wearing a shirt with a patch of sandpaper where the tag is or strips of bark for seams. Over time, those areas will become more sensitive, rather than less. Your jeans actually did stretch and become looser. The "sandpaper" and "bark" didn't go away.

 

 

 

The stubbornness is part of the sensitivity issue. I saw my son become so much more amenable in every area of his life after we addressed the neurological problem of SPD. Their senses are being bombarded with stimuli that the brain does not know what to do with. Dealing with that on a minute by minute basis is exhausting, frustrating, irritating and certainly will not bring out the best in people.

 

 

 

This is not how desensitization works in SPD - this is not how you re-teach the brain how to process information. They can surpress the bad behavior that comes from the constant irritation for a while, but it would take an exceptional person to be all sweet and cheerful all the time when dealing with this. To make life work, you will have to force her to wear something, but you also need to realize that, while you don't understand it, you have to be compassionate about how hard it is for her.

 

Hmm...I wonder if that means I can cross this particular concern off the list for my own DD, since simply explaining the whole idea of desensitization really does work for her, most of the time. We worried that she might need OT for quite a while. Now her main issues are with shoes and water....Sigh.

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This was one of the things I loved about homeschooling. My bi-polar child had extreme sensitivities so if she was only comfortable in pj and t-shirts that was fine. She loved horse riding but the clothing struggles were enough to drive me insane. She hated the way the pants and boots fit and she couldn't stand to wear a helment. Sometimes we were both reduced to tears before her clothes were comfortable enough for us to leave. Same problem with ice skates. There was even times when she would freak out because her hair was not laying right and it felt wrong. Luckily, she has outgrown it but her little sister does have some issues mostly regarding shoes and socks. I guess I can't complain too much as I have issue to especially with jeans, bras and shoes. Luckily, I am still home all day so I can still get away with pjs and slippers. I feel for you and hope she outgrows it soon. :grouphug:

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Cotton clothing was suggested to me years ago especially the Hanna Andersson sweats, long johns and tees. Their cotton is softer than any other.

 

They are worth every penny imo. They wash and hold up to more than one child wearing them day after day, wash after wash. (And I wash in hot water.) I always pass them down to the cousins or the resale value is high. Expensive, but they have great sales and customer service is awesome. I've returned one boys shirt that had seams across the chest, after it was washed and worn once. They have European sizing and the cuffs make them last most kids around two or more years per size. That equals a great $$$savings to me.

 

Ymmv, but if they are comfy and in clothes weather appropriate...Mom's life is better.;)

 

We have the Hanna playdresses and leggings/shorts - depending on the season. DD is getting better, but when she's feeling stressed out, she will wear these dresses when nothing else works.

 

Good luck - it's not fun!

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