AARC Tip of the Month
February 2015


Clothing and the Sensory Sensitive Child

When you have children with autism you are likely to come across all sorts of oddities with clothing. Common quirks include chewing or sucking on sleeves, having great discomfort with elastics or labels, and wanting to take clothes off. Here are some tips to help with common clothing challenges.



One tip we've heard from parents of children with autism is that their kids find it much more comfortable to sleep in one-piece pajamas. It may be that the lack of elastic around the wait is less irritating to the belly, which can be an especially tender area for many children with autism. These pajamas can be hard to find, so if you find a supply make sure to stock up!


If your child constantly wants to take off their pajamas, consider purchasing pajamas that fasten in the back. This way he/she cannot get to the zipper or buttons! This works best for younger children, and has been an effective strategy to keep them in their clothes through the night.


New Clothes:

Do you have a chid with autism that loves wearing old clothes rather than new clothes? Old clothing is more comfortable, softer, and can be much easier to wear for children who have sensory hypersensitivity. The solution is simple. Wash new clothes a couple of times before you introduce them to your child. Ensure that all the starch is gone, and choose soft, comfortable fabrics rather than anything scratchy. Also, try to avoid clothing styles that are tight or have a lot of seems, sippers, and/or other fasteners. If all of this doesn't work, let the child wear an old vest underneath their newer clothes. These little adaptations can make dressing easier for children with autism. 



Book Suggestions:
These books are available in the SESA Library. You may search the library on the SESA website, or you may contact our Librarian, Anne Freitag, at afreitag@sesa.org or 907-334-1301

For easy searching on the SESA Library site, we've added the ISBN number. Simply copy, paste, and search!

Educating Children with Autism [electronic resource]
By: Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council
National Academy Press, 2001.
ISBN: 0309512786

This ebook investigates methods and strategies on educating children with autism, and makes recommendations. 

This is an electronic book that may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before, click here to go to the ebook title and login page.

You can go directly to SESA's ebook collection here (you will need a user name and password; please call Anne at 907-334-1301 or email at afreitag@sesa.org)

Visit the SESA website for more information on ebooks. 


Time to Get Dressed
By: Patricia Snair Koski
LinguiSystems, 2001
ISBN: 0760604088

This book has some hands-on activities on learning about getting dressed. For ages 1 through 3; includes worksheets and lesson plans.