Hi all. I'm new to the group so sorry if this has been asked before. My 10 year old daughter has a new diagnosis of autism after 7 years of struggling with her behaviour/traits etc. However we are struggling increasingly with clothing issues. Everything is too tight/scratchy etc etc the biggest issue is underwear And dislikes anything that she has to wear. I've tried all styles of underwear and a range of sizes. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions. Specific seamless underwear are just too expensive. Please help!!
hello kate's mum.
i am autistic.
yes, clothing. nightmare. i would much prefer to walk around completely naked and unencumbered... alas, society and british weather dictates otherwise.
i will merely make a list of suggestions. obviously you may have already tired some, so do excuse any dulications.
a) boys shorts - these also come in 'girls shorts' in certain retailers
b) boys underwear in general - don't balk at the idea of crossing the gender barrier. throw away ideas about sex/gender, think like an autistic: comfort, logic
c) customising underwear - again, think like an autistic - if it fits, its in, the bits that don't fit get cut out eg. elastic trims. *holds up example of ferret customised underwear complete with tattered edges* comfort over fashion
d) choice - again, the autistic thinking comes into play. touch, sampling, functionality, road testing. do you allow your daughter to participate in chosing her own underwear (or other clothing) or do you merely provide eg. here you are, i bought you this... cue rejection on the basis of not being right, confrontations ensue... if this is the case, then perhaps allowing more choice and control over the underwear (and perhaps other clothing) may help in some cases.
e) similar to d) above when it comes to customising underwear, perhaps a more involved hands on approach would be better. possibly make it fun or an exploration eg. cut up an unused pair of underwear to get the right fit OR allow a sampling exercise of what is most scratchy to what is least scratchy material. this may achieve two things: will help identify what is really not acceptable (it could even be down to colour eg white is right, anything else isn't) and also, your daughter will feel more in control (autistics like self-determination over personal things)
f) the outside options: does your daughter get rashes or hives or scratch? if so, explore the possibilty of washing detergents causing or exacerbating the scratchy/itchy factor.
general note: feeling restricted is a major problem when it comes to clothes. conversely, i wish to feel as if i'm not wearing any clothes, so sometimes something tight does work insofar as that if the material is right, then it feels right. sometimes cottons can feel very heavy and fiberous, whereas a mixture of poly-cotton does not. the finer the thread, the better the feel. silk obviously is the best, but you mention price so do not go an buy silk straight away, test first on a touch test, then try and get something closer to it eg. close weave cotton, if you can't afford silk.
the quality of cotton is based on two factors: weight and weave. heavy cottons will feel more scratchy.
note on sensitivity in general: sometimes skin cream can help alleviate the scratchy, but not always. products which are for general use tend to leave a sticky nasty sensation. again, trial and error will help and also boots the chemist are generally very good at allowing or helping customers test product in quiet areas of the shop if the need is explained. i mention this in connection with the hives/scratching issue outlined above.
that's all i can offer on this subject area. good luck