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What are you wearing?

It’s itchy.

I don’t like it.

It’s too tight.

It feels funny.

Sound familiar? Children with sensory issues often struggle with clothing. They hate tags, bumps in socks, sneakers tied too tightly, rough materials. Maybe they want to wear the same shirt all the time or mix and match clashing colors and patterns. If you find yourself arguing with your child about clothes on a regular basis, the stakes only get raised when it’s time to dress up for the holidays.

The thing about clothing is you have to pick your battles. So, here’s a few ideas:

  • Find clothing lines that cater to your child’s needs – no tags, no bumpy seams, and material that is soft to the touch.
  • If dressing for an event or photo is important to you, bring comfortable clothes that your child can change into as soon as the special activity is over.
  • Order clothes online and have your child try them on at home. You can easily return something and it’s better than struggling at the store.

Your child is unique and clothes are an expression of the person. Yes, there are times you may have to be clear about clothing boundaries (no pajamas at school unless it’s pajama day!) but whenever possible, let kids be comfortable. It will take some of the stress out of holiday activities and your child will literally, feel better.

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Anna Johnson, Head of School at The Wolf School, is a devoted, passionate educator with more than 17 years of classroom and leadership experience. She holds a BA and MAT from Brown University and speaks locally and nationally on topics related to Complex Learners.

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