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Winter weather sensory blues

Ryan has always been finicky about clothing, mostly with keeping it on. But over the past few years he has gotten better about that, and will keep his clothes on if we’re not at home, although if we’re at a family member’s house the shoes and socks are quick to come off, and pants often follow. But he has sensory issues with the types of clothes he will wear: he frets over bumps (seams) in socks, tags on shirts, seams on sleeves, collars that aren’t flat and round (absolutely no v-necks or raised collars), bunched waistbands of pants, sleeves that are too long or not quite long enough, pants legs that are too long or not quite long enough, etc.

This year’s frigid weather has been especially brutal, and Ryan has really been out of sorts with having to wear heavier clothing. He doesn’t like layers because they bunch under his coat, he doesn’t like hooded shirts even though the ones we have are thicker than regular long-sleeved shirts and thus more preferable (by me), and he outright rejects his sweaters and fleece pullovers because of the upturned collars. Obviously I’m just being a mom by worrying about him being warm enough (especially since we keep our thermostat between 66 and 68; and Alyssa tells me that the school’s classrooms are often a bit chilly), but I don’t want him having meltdowns left and right because of the sensory over-stimulation caused by thick materials and high collars.

We’ve found a pair of fleece-lined jeans, three pairs of soft sweatpants (thank you Osh Kosh B’gosh!), and one sweatshirt that Ryan will wear without a battle. They’re all super-soft, tagless, and they don’t bunch or drag. Socks are hit or miss (which is why he has over two dozen pairs, and I make sure to wash them with extra fabric softener and dryer sheets), and fortunately he is not having problems with his shoes, though he hates having to tie the laces.

I never thought I’d be wishing for warmer weather simply to make dressing a child easier, but there you have it: bring on the t-shirt and shorts weather!


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