The Morning Rush:
Thursday, October 21st, 2010
HOW TO GET YOUR HYPER-SENSITIVE CHILD DRESSED IN THE MORNING
Morning routines are rushed and stressful in many homes, but if your child is overly sensitive to the feel of his/her clothing, getting dressed can be a torturous process for both of you. He/she may resist or literally fight you when it is time to get dressed. The good news is that your child is not trying to make your life difficult. For a child who is bothered by certain fabrics and textures, it can be uncomfortable, or even painful to wear articles of clothing that do not feel “right.”
Here is what you can do to make life run more smoothly:
- Sweatpants, yoga pants, and leggings will feel a lot better than jeans
- Sweatshirts, pull-overs, and t-shirts will be preferred to button down or collared shirts
- Let your child approve clothing once you bring it home
- Pre-wash clothing before wearing
- Consider purchasing tagless underwear and shirts
- Look for seamless socks online
- If you cannot find seamless and tagless garments, cut out labels and tags
- Give choices wherever possible to give your child a sense of control, such as giving your child two good choices of outfits and letting him/her make the final choice
- In order to minimize any conflict that may arise in the morning over clothing selection, pick out clothing the night before. Lay them out like a “person” so that your child can climb right in
- Spend 5 minutes doing sensory preparation before getting dressed. Proprioceptive or “heavy work” activities are most calming and organizing:
- Make a “sandwich” using pillows and blankets.
- Roll up in blankets like a “hotdog”, give a few pillow squishes, and roll out of blanket quickly.
- Jump on cushions or mattresses.
- Play “Hide and Seek” under cushions and pillows.
- Give bear hugs (child faces away from you).
- Give slow back rubs or massages.
- Layer spandex or Lycra exercise-type clothes under regular clothes for calming, evenly distributed deep pressure input
If your child is sensitive to temperature, dress him/her in layers so that he/she can remain comfortable throughout the day
Blog written by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR
Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR, Director POTS