Making Back to School Sensory Friendly

September 10, 2012

Making Back to School Sensory Friendly

One of the things almost everyone has to do when the new school year comes around is back to school clothes shopping. For many families, it's not that big of a deal. However,  what if you are a special needs family and have kids with sensory sensitivity?  Clothes shopping takes on a whole new meaning and becomes a more challenging situation. My family faces this challenge every school year.  However,  we have found ways to make this easier,  not only for ourselves but also our kids. Oh..and our wallet as well.  Who doesn't like saving money? First of all,  we take the approach of if it ain't broke don't fix it.  Basically that means that if they don't need clothes,  don't get them clothes.  Not only does this save money but it also spares our kids from the sensory nightmare that is trying on new clothes. In order to make this work, we do something we call fashion show. Before we can go clothes shopping,  it helps greatly to know what they need.  The only way to figure that out is to have them try their clothes on.  This helps us to remove clothes that are too small and either pack them away or hand them down. We try and make this a big deal because they get a kick out of it.  Fashion Show turns an otherwise difficult task, into something fun and stress free. Once we know exactly what we need, it's off to the store. I should also specify,  the thrift store, whenever possible. image I don't know about your kids but my kids are really, really tough on their clothes. Shopping the thrift stores allows us to get them clothes at a discount.  When they quickly and inevitably go through their clothes, at least we aren't out a great deal of money. However, the biggest and most important perk of the thrift store is that the clothes are already broken in. When sensory sensitive kids put on brand new clothes, they often find them very uncomfortable and distracting.  My kids complain that the clothes hurt their skin or make them itch.  Typically, it takes a few cycles through the washer and dryer to make the clothes more comfortable for them. Sometimes it just takes time. Thrift store shopping for back to school clothes serves a dual purpose for us.  Not only do we save money but it also spares my kids the sensory nightmare of having to tolerate new clothes that can take awhile to break in. This is one of those rare, win win situations. Let's be honest, who doesn't like to win?



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