Sensory Friendly Clothing For Children with Sensory Processing Disorder       

Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD or Autism can really struggle with clothing. 

Clothes can often be painful and feel extremely uncomfortable. There are many different strategies now that you can try with your child. 

If your child is having meltdowns, getting them dressed is stressful or they run around the house naked most days, I want you to know... YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

I used to think I was the only person in the world who was going through this.   

boy with sensory processing disorder outting on sensory friendly pants Sensory Friendly Clothing For Children with Sensory Processing Disorder

Tactile sensory input is touching with the skin. Tactile defensiveness is a type of sensory dysfunction when tactile (touch) sensations cause hypersensitivity. 

When your child tells you that something that is touching them hurts or is very uncomfortable, they are being truthful with you. They are having a negative response to the tactile sensory input. 

There are a lot of daily activities or tasks that can cause a child to become tactile defensive like brushing their teeth, getting dressed, cutting their nails, washing themselves or brushing their hair. These can often be very common sensory processing disorder symptoms that are known to cause children with sensory challenges to feel anxious, feel overwhelmed and have sensory meltdowns. 

little boy with sensory processing disorder putting on sensory friendly clothing
Something to think about.... as a child who struggled with sensory differences, nothing ruined my day more than someone making me wear something that felt awful for me.
As an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, I choose my clothes. I choose what I can and will wear each day. Just because it feels okay for a parent, that doesn't mean it will feel okay for their child.
Each day my sensory needs may change but I always choose. There is no one who makes me wear anything. I wear what feels comfortable. I wear what my body will tolerate that day.
Shouldn't children who have Sensory Processing Disorder be able to choose and be comfortable too?
Their needs should be accommodated. We want them to feel better, not worse.

Cut the tags out of your children's clothing. Tags can feel so sharp for a child with sensory challenges. Turning socks inside out can also be helpful too because the seams are outside the socks. 

When you do find clothing that your child can tolerate, try to buy as many patterns, colors and sizes as possible. 

As an adult, I still find clothing a struggle. I always have. When you do find something that feels good it can be a real game changer. When I was growing up, there were no sensory friendly clothing options available like there is today.

Tagless to prevent irritation

Soft and breathable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo

Seamless or minimal seams to eliminate rough or irritating seams 

Flat seams to reduce friction against the skin

Adjustable closures like elastic waistbands

Non-restrictive to allow easier  movement

Compression clothing for proprioceptive sensory input 

Weighted clothing for calming 

Lose or tight fit depending on sensory needs 
sensory friendly clothing features sensory friendly shirts clothing for sensory processing disorder

Some children do not want to wear clothing that have buttons, zippers, elastics or tags and they will only wear solid colors. Some children may only want to wear super soft clothing. All children have different sensory issues. This can make it very challenging for parents to accommodate. 

A child may not want to wear something today but will tomorrow. Our sensory struggles can change from one day to the next. 

If your child is having a meltdown over clothing and how they feel, they're not purposely giving you a hard time. They really are having a hard time. Clothing for someone who has Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD or Autism can feel absolutely unbearable.

If your child's sensory tactile defensiveness is becoming worse, you may want to have a sensory evaluation done by an Occupational Therapist. An OT will start a sensory diet based on your child's needs. Having a negative reaction to touch can overwhelm your child, can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. 

They are struggling with having a tactile sensitivity. To them. the touch is a lot more extreme than it actually is. When a child is over responsive or hyper responsive it can affect their lives and daily functioning.  

An Occupational Therapist may suggest that you include Wilbarger Brushing and joint compressions to your child's sensory diet. Brushing absolutely changed our lives within days. 
Click here for more information on Wilbarger brushing and joint compressions. 

I have come up with a list of sensory friendly clothing options that are now available to not only make your child's life easier but yours too! 

Sensory Friendly Clothing shops that sell clothing for children that won't itch, feel bunchy or feel scratchy. SmartKnitKIDS, Parker & Talia, JettProof , Sense-ational You, Kozie Clothes, Bumblito, Mazi + Mom, Lucky & Me and Bleuet. 

Sensory Friendly Clothing For Children 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists give you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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