Best Clothes For Children With Autism

Here are the best clothes you can buy for an autistic child, as well as how to stop your child from undressing.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
September 20, 2023
min read

Sensory Clothing For Autism

Having an autistic child comes with its frustrations. One of them is picking out good clothes that they feel comfortable in. Such kids may experience discomfort, more than children that aren't diagnosed.

The trouble with sensory processing is a major symptom of autism.

The condition is deemed by psychologists to be hyporeactivity in the way it transfers to their senses.

This means that children on the spectrum may feel apathetic to temperature changes and pain, where they respond negatively to certain noises and visuals.

Smelling and teaching of various objects could range from appealing to incredibly uncomfortable.

As sensory processing issues increase, kids with autism may grow to dislike wearing specific sorts of clothing articles. 

For instance, a child might not like the feeling of labels on the rear interior of shirts, as it scratches and irritates a sensitive part of the neck. Other children may prefer certain kinds of material for the way that it feels on them.

Parents and guardians now have a wider array of choices in clothing to give children with autism. There are entire brands that exclusively sell clothing made with material that appeals to kids with sensory problems.

The following are popular stores and designers retailing clothing that's specific to the needs of kids with ASD.

Best Clothing Brands For Children With Autism

  1. Kozie Clothes
  2. Fun and Function
  3. Smart Knit Kids
  4. Target
  5. Kohl's

1. Kozie Clothes

One of the clothing brands which focus on children with autism is Kozie Clothes, which sells sensory-conscious merchandise. They have shirts with compression functionality, vests, and weighted shirts that look ordinary in appearance.

The plainness of their shirts could also help kids that dislike patterns on their clothing. All shirts are built to stretch, which can prolong their lifetime and reduce shrinkage when washing.

2. Fun and Function

Existing as an online store, Fun and Function sells a large listing of different products meant for special needs kids.

They even possess an exclusive line for autistic children, clothing items that are weighted and assist with problems regarding their sensory abilities. Parents can purchase vests that are weighted, ties, and various caps that are slightly heavier than normal.

3. Smart Knit Kids

Smart Knit Kids makes excellent quality socks that aren't uncomfortable when worn for long periods. They're built to contour to the shape of the wearer's foot and are great for children with sensory troubles.

Some children can become very agitated with ordinary socks, especially those with bumps and ridges along the edges, which Smart Kit Kids have kept in mind.

Such imperfections aren't found in theirs. However, they do maintain tops that don't bind together, eliminating the annoyance of having the sock slip down when walking.

4. Target

Target has its clothing line, a collection of casual shirts and bottoms for both girls and boys. Their selections for kids rarely have exposed tags, are flat at the seams, and are woven with a mixture of comfortable materials.

Things like trousers and hoodies have holes in the right places, zippers, and buttons that are easy to release. Even Target's denim jeans have stretch material and are great for children that cannot walk.

5. Kohl's

Although Kohl's sells ordinary clothing, they now have adaptive merchandise in their children's categories. Everything from shirts, shorts, and hoodies without tags can be had, in-store or online. Materials are varied, so parents of autistic children are certain to find something that appeals to them.

Calm Wear

Selling clothing for children with a range of disabilities, Calm Wear has everything a parent of an autistic child could need. There are full-piece suits for kids that have issues going to the bathroom, making it easy for changing out diapers with easy-to-release button latches.

Autism Clothing Issues: How to Stop Your Autistic Child From Taking Their Clothes Off

Here are some tips that parents can do to stop their autistic child from disrobing.

The problem must first be properly identified. Adjustments can be made to take off the thing that's making certain types of clothes feel uncomfortable to them, such as loose tags.

For children with ASD that can speak, asking what about the clothing is making them irritable can also help. Further adjustments can be made to make the material as relaxed as possible.

Kids that are nonverbal should be given different clothing articles until those they feel relaxed in are known.

The more responsive they are to certain articles, the greater the chance they have of taking them off later.

When shopping for new clothes, parents should take off any loose tags in the rear, something that's known to stir up sensory problems in challenger kids. Truthfully, this can be an issue for kids that have no disorder at all.

Sometimes, tags are found on the side rather than the rear neck. Remove them as needed. If there exists anything that could dig into their skin, it's best to remove it or change it out for something else.

Loose clothing might also pose an issue. Parents can buy pants and shirts that fit more snugly, have elastic materials that stretch, and give a bit of compression. Leggings are good for this purpose, especially for autistic girls.

Sometimes, it seems that no matter what's changed, an autistic child will continue to respond negatively to certain clothes, and disable them.

When the sensory cause can't be pinpointed, steps should be made to tell them how to properly keep on their clothes. Some of this could delve into basic behavioral modification steps, such as using positive reinforcement and compassionate adjustment as needed.

Here's more of what parents can do in this situation:

  • Finding books that stress the importance of wearing clothes
  • Making them aware of how other children around them remain fully dressed
  • Providing tokens when they're able to keep themselves fully clothed. A chart with stickers is great for this purpose.

Parents can get additional guidance from ABA therapists so that a comprehensive plan for their wardrobes can be executed.

As a last resort, when behavioral changes and adjustments to their clothing won't work, parents can attempt to make it harder for them to remove their clothing.

To do this, parents can place fasteners in the rear, making it harder for them to touch the necessary latches to get themselves out of what's being worn.

Dressing in layers is another option, though this is more advisable during the colder months of the year. Too many layers could lead to tantrums, especially in severe cases of ASD.

steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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