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Things to consider when buying clothing for children with autism

Things to consider when buying clothing for children with autism

If you are the parent to a child with autism, you might find it challenging to buy clothing for them that they are able to wear. Children with autism and sensory issues can find certain items and textures of clothing irritating and as such, it can be difficult purchasing clothes that are suitable for them. In this blog, SpecialKids Company will provide a list of things that you should consider when buying clothes for children with autism or sensory needs.

Common clothing sensitivities in children with autism


Children with autism may have specific sensitivities to certain aspects of clothing. While sensitivities can vary among individuals, here are some common clothing sensitivities experienced by children with autism:

  • Colours & Texture
  • Seams and tags
  • Tightness or pressure
  • Temperature regulation

Understanding these common clothing sensitivities can guide the selection of appropriate autism-friendly clothing. Below we will continue to discuss these sensitivities and other things to consider when buying clothes for children with autism.

1. Colours and textures

Firstly, it is important to establish if your child is reluctant to wear any specific colours or textures due to sensory needs or rigidity of thought. Communication is important and if you can, you should ask them. If they struggle to communicate, keep a note of their behaviour when wearing certain clothes to try and establish patterns and rule out things that they do not like.

2. Sensory clothing

If your child needs proprioceptive input due to their sensory needs, then sensory clothing can be great at providing this, helping them to feel secure and reduce anxiety. From weighted jackets and hoodies to weighted compression vests and ‘hug’ t-shirts, deep pressure clothing items can provide comfort and feelings of reassurance.

3. Seamless items

Some children with sensory needs find the seams on items of clothing irritating. Seamless items of clothing such as socks and underwear are available to overcome this.

4. Easy wear items

Some stores and clothing designers have created ‘easy-wear’ items for children who struggle to dress and undress. Marks and Spencer, for example, have an easy dressing range for assisted dressing, such as pull-on school shorts and hidden rip tape shirts.

SpecialKids Company are proud suppliers of Billy Footwear and Friendly Shoes, which provide easy access, comfortable and stylish footwear with both style and functionality in mind.

5. Items to overcome taking clothes off and smearing

Button and zip back clothing can help if your child tends to strip off their clothes or smear faeces. Scratch Sleeves provides footless and footed dungarees that are button-back. They are made from soft woven cotton and the fabric is stretchy allowing plenty of room for movement. However, the knitted trim makes it difficult to access and the buttons with top loop are impenetrable. These are great for children with sensory needs.

KayCey and Seenin also provide zip back jumpsuits and sleepsuits that are ideal for children with autism and sensory needs. They come in a range of colours and the zip back is perfect for determined escape artists! There is also double lock system on the KayCey items to make it a little bit more difficult for the wearer to undress.

6. Incontinence wear and swimwear

If your child is incontinent, then it incontinence wear can be a game changer. Two brands to explore are Peejamas and Kes-Vir.

Peejamas are kid-friendly, eco-friendly, and wallet-friendly alternatives to disposable daytime and night-time nappies or trainers. They help parents save money and your child to potty-train more quickly. There is a wide range of these fabulous pyjamas on our website.

Kes-Vir supply fabulous, discreet incontinence swimwear for both girls and boys designed for children with bowel and urine incontinence. Not only this, but the material is UPF 50+ and chlorine resistant with no pilling fabric.

7. Period pants

Kes-Vir period pants for girls with autism and special needs when you have no other option. These pants look like swim briefs but have light absorption built-in the gusset to avoid leakage. They are also waterproof.

8. Bibs and bandanas

Some children with autism drool or like to chew their clothing. Bibs and bandanas can help to stop them from ruining their tops, whilst also keeping them dry. KayCey bibs are fleece backed and cotton topped large bandana bibs are perfect for older children and adults who need dribble protectors.

9. Aprons and Tabards

Feeding aprons and tabards are a great way to keep clothes clean and dry whilst protecting against skin irritations. These bibs have been adapted to cater to the specific needs for children with special needs.

These products are functional, quality clothing protectors and dribble bibs designed to make life easier for parents and caregivers everywhere. An essential item for everyday needs, protecting against dribble rash and eczema. Bright, fun and practical and a must-have for children with special needs. Check out our website to see our full range available.

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