Self-Care Chronicles: Getting Dressed
No matter the age, getting dressed for a child can be a hassle. Oftentimes children, in general, are particular or afraid of the routine. Then add sensory processing issues and getting dressed together: now we have a bigger problem that can last into adulthood. If you’ve ever caught yourself cutting tags out of clothes, allowing your child to choose off-kilter outfits because you choose your battles and clothes are not worth the fuss, or even swaddling your tall child like a small baby then I’ve got some tips for you.
We must remember that getting dressed is part of a healthy self-care routine (that’s not to say the occasional pajama day at home is wrong). It is important to understand that God wants us to care for His temple, which is our human bodies. In this world, there are many who cannot do so themselves. If you are one of His mightiest creations whom He has charged with the responsibility of loving someone with sensory needs, then know that He is already on your side. He knows what you are going through, and guess what? He knew from the beginning that you couldn’t do this alone.
1 Corinthians 3:16 says, ““Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” He is with you always! Without further ado, let’s take the Spirit with us as we discuss some tips for getting dressed and sensory processing needs.
- Lay out two garments and let them choose. Giving your child a choice (though you’ve pre-selected their options) will give them a sense of pride in choosing their own clothes. They are also likely to choose clothes that match their needed sensory experience, taking away some guesswork for you.
- Mind the weather. Winter clothes or loose fitting clothes can be overwhelming for people with sensory issues. Tight fitting clothes, such as things made with Lycra, add a sense of security. It is good to make time to practice wearing winter clothes if you live in a place that gets very cold. Let them grow accustomed to the winter clothes so it will not be as big of a surprise with the temperature drops. Additionally, you might decide that many thinner layers rather than one large, bulky coat would work best.
- One of the reasons winter clothing or any clothing, cause problems is bunching. Clothes that roll and gather and socks that slip into ones shoe can be annoying for anyone. For a person with sensory needs, that feeling is much stronger and far worse.
- Some people with sensory processing issues find comfort in heavy, weighted items like a weighted vest or a weighted blanket.
- For a wearable sensory experience that may bring a sense of peace to tactile needs, Sensory Sox might be what you are looking for. This full body product gives the wearer a tool for comfort and special awareness—not to mention it’s simply fun.
I hope these tips help you with sensory processing and getting dressed. Stay tuned for more Self-Care Chronicles!
For more info and support on dressing, check out the Sensory super-parents mastery training