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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need some advice from you wise mommas. TIA!<br><br>
I posted this last week on a tribal thread, but I'd love some more input, because I swear it seems like its gotten even worse in the last week:<br><br>
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My dd is five and she appears to be highly sensitive when it comes to clothes. But it has become quite extreme and is getting worse.<br><br>
We live in the very cold midwest. We do not have a car and we rely on public transportation, so I cannot forego the warm stuff, as we are often stuck outside waiting on busses and trains.<br><br>
We pick out clothes the night before and I've whittled down her wardrobe to consist entirely of soft natural fibers... but its not just the way the clothes feel.. they have to fit her EXACTLY right. If the pant legs or sleeves are slightly too long (and "too long" by her standards are very different than too long by most standards) she is on the floor in hysterics. Of course the pants can't be too tight, but also if there is the slightest amount of give in the waist that will put her over the edge too.<br><br>
She cannot deal with rolled up sleeves or cuffed pants. And she will not wear anything besides long sleeved tee shirts or short sleeved tee shirts under a coat... which results in her being freezing outside, because even with a very warm coat its so cold and windy here that when real winter settles in you have to layer to stay warm.. she refuses (as in falls apart completely, sobs, screams, becomes inconsolable) and then freezes once outside.<br><br>
Shoes... ugh.. lets not even go there.. the shoe thing is bad... way bad. The ONLY shoes she's happy in is TEVA sandals. Think I can get winter boots on her?<br><br>
Ugh! I wind up feeling like the worst mother during the winter months. She's always either hysterical with the clothes, coats, scarves, gloves, etc.. or she is freezing cold... I can't find a happy medium. I struggle so hard to find stuff that is going to be comfortable and fit well and there's ALWAYS something horribly wrong with it for her.<br>
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Oops... I've got more to say, but I accidently submitted this... typing another post....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Since I posted this in the FYT thread, she has decided she doesn't want to wear any of the only three pairs of pants she used to tolerate.<br><br>
I do not know what to do anymore.<br><br>
I am a single mom and I WOH full time. We HAVE to get out the door in the morning and its getting harder and harder every day.<br><br>
I am trying to be compassionate and empathetic, but if I have the words "IT'S UNCOMFORTABLE!!!!!!" screamed in my face one more time I am going to loose it.<br><br>
I am late to work nearly every day. Putting out the clothes the night before is making no difference, because what she agrees on then she cannot stand in the morning. She literally takes her shoes off to fix her socks, while fussing or crying or grumbling or yelling, five times before we can get out the door. Getting her to put a coat on is a bigger battle everyday. Amazingly and blessedly we haven't had an extreme cold or a significant snow this year, but it WILL come (it always does here) and I don't know WTF I'm going to do when it does.<br><br>
I cannot for the life of me find clothes to fit her. She is very, very tiny for her age. Height wise, she is a 3T... waist size wise she is about a 2T and she will NOT wear anything that is too big or too small. It cannot be too long or too short, too lose or too fitting. Sleeves cannot go past about 2 inches above her wrist. Pants cannot touch the tops of her feet.<br><br>
Help me mommas! Help me help her! Because try as I might (and believe me I am) I have run out of the patience and creativity needed to weather this.
 

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I swear my son (3.5yo) wears old navy sweats and old navy thermal shirts every day in the winter because of a similar thing that you are going through. He wakes in the morning and says, "put on my comfortable clothes"<br><br>
We are no longer in Old Navy buying territory and they don't ship out of the US so we are in deep deep trouble as soon as he grows out of these......<br><br><br>
Also, remember that going from cold while waiting for the bus to the heated interior of the bus may be uncomfortable for her if she's overdressed with scarves, mittens, hat etc. I personally allow my son to dress lighter if we will be popping in and out of heated places....
 

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my son is very thin and small and I swear to you Old Navy clothes fit him so well. He is 3.5 yo and he can wear their sweats 3T and thermal shirts 2T and they fit comfortable. If we have to go out every single day in sweats, it's fine by me!<br><br>
I'm not a plug for old navy, it's just I've struggled to practically no end finding<br><br>
clothes that fit and<br>
clothes that are comfortable for my son
 

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my son also complains about the sleeves and the length of the pants. So I am hearing you on this one.<br><br>
My son will wear shoes when we go out but oh the complaining....<br><br>
At home he is completely barefoot despite the cold hardwood and tiled floors. (his choice)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for taking the time to respond, PumkinSeeds.<br><br>
As much as is possible, I try to let my dd make the decisions. The thing is that when she refuses to put on a coat and I say "Its really cold outside. I think once you go outside you'll want your coat, so I'm going to carry it and you let me know if you want it," she will literally stand outside shivering and crying and whining ad naseum but STILL won't put the coat on. Its just so damn exhausting and frustrating.<br><br>
I'll check out old navy... but nothing seems to work right now. I am very, very discouraged.
 

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you might try the special needs forum. i know there are some SID mamas there. the only thing i could think of was Hanna Anderssen, but they're pretty pricey. can you take her to a consigment/thrift/used clothing store and let her pick things out? that way if the clothes are later rejected you haven't spent a fortune. i've picked up some hanna's at a consigment store locally. maybe the trading post?
 

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Just a thought, we got a vest, hand me down, and it's been great!<br><br>
My almost 3yo refuses to wear a coat, (too tight, bulky, itchy, you name it) but we have had a couple real cold days and he did wear the vest, no sleves!<br><br>
He still has to take it off to get into his carseat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> We keep a blanket in the car and cover him until the car warmes up. Most days he just wears his clothes and a hat (very loose old and soft) if it's raining or snowing. I used to bring the coar with me, but then I realised I was bringing the coat/power struggle with me and he noticed! Almost like I wasent respecting his decision, and brought the coat anyway.<br><br>
We also let him wear his P.J.'s out if there is a problem with clothes. We did this for a month and it helped with the power struggle that had built up over clothes. After weeks of P.J.'s it was his idea to put on reg clothes and he wasent as bothered by them.<br><br>
Sorry you are having such a hard time, it sounds super stressfull!!!!<br><br>
I do notice that the worst days are when I have a timeline I need to follow. The domino effect, I'm worried about being late, getting him ready and in the car, he pickes up on that and his senses/emotions become even more irritated, which irritates me, which irritates him more.<br><br>
This may sound weird but I think kids (kids like this in general) have to REALLY want to wear something badly to overcome their sensitivities to a piece of clothing. Once the power struggle was removed and he knew I wasent emotionally invested in what he wore. He then found a shirt he really liked and wanted to wear it. I think a little peer pressure (4yo style) was involved.<br><br>
I think our SID issues turned out to be more emotional than I thought, this might be totally different for you.<br><br>
Hope you find something that helps soon,<br>
Good luck!
 

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The best book on SID is The Out-of-Sync Child by Kranowitz. If your child has SID, I'm sure there are other issues as well and this really isn't a quick fix sort of thing.<br><br>
My 8 year old has SID and it is much more of a problem in the winter! I've found that she does much better overall if she gets lots of activity, such as swimming, playing on slide and swings, riding her bike, etc. These things are just a lot harder in the winter so she has more problems with everything from clothing to self help skills to just being able to think straight. Right now she is in gymnastics one day a week and that helps, and we try to stay as active as possible. I know that "gymnastics" sounds like odd advice for a child who won't put on boots, but it helps around here.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
Other tactile things help, but not as much: playing with a big bowl of beans that she can just run her fingers through, splashing in the tub, doing summersaults down the hall, etc.
 

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Moving to Special Needs Parenting...
 

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My dd has SID, and has some similar problem with clothes. It is not our major issue, but I can relate to problems with cuffs on shirts/pants, fabrics, waists, socks, and shoes. Oh, the issues we have with shoes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Curiously, she LOVES tights. Tights make everything better. And I actually believe that they *do* help her--that tight, even, predictable pressure is calming for her. Does your dd have any reactions (postive or negative) to tights? Hanna Andersen sells some great knit tights for colder climates, and you can get cheaper ones elsewhere (my mom got dd some knit tights from an outlet store dirt cheap. She lives in them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>starlite</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"It's not comfortable!" well, tough. It's practicle and there's no way it could be hurting you ...</div>
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The thing is, if there is a sensory issue involved, this is not true. It could truly be unbearable. I trust my dd when it comes to her body--she is the only one who knows what she feels. The therapies have really helped with a lot of her issues--so, no, they are not nec about control at all. *If* it is a sensory integration issue, then it is a true problem for her and should be respected as such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We had another tremendously awful morning. I've been in tears all morning at work.<br><br>
I don't know what to do. I feel like such a horrible mom.
 

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If it is a sensory issue (and it does sound like one), then it's not about power and it most certainly isn't a game. It's about the fact that the clothes may actually *hurt* her. The Kranowitz book is a good one, and it will offer some good ideas. Don't expect your daughter to meet every item on a checklist, though -- SID doesn't work that way. Nor is it consistent. My son will have days when he doesn't feel pain at all (skinned knees, blistered fingers, etc go unnoticed), and then he will have days when a tag in the back of his shirt feels like it's cutting into his skin.<br><br>
If you are able to find an occupational therapist who understands sensory issues, you might try that. Again, the Kranowitz book can help you understand what you need to look for. Someone who understands the Wilbarger Protocol (a brushing program) would be good.<br><br>
On a more immediate note -- is there a chance that your daughter would be willing to wear the same clothes that she slept in? We went through a phase with my son when life was just easier for all of us if he slept in sweat pants and a t-shirt, then wore that to school. It got rid of the morning battle, and since he was taking a bath and changing clothes every night, I didn't stress about it.<br><br>
And on a final note -- since this is a special needs board, advice like "get over it and do what I say" really is out of place and unhelpful.<br><br>
Tara
 

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Is there a certain brand/style of shirt or pants she WILL wear? Buy a lot of them! Let her go to the store with you to pick out her clothes as often as possible, try them on first. I tell you, I feel silly sending ds to school every single day in sweatpants, but he's happy! Hanes sweats, that you can get at Target fit pretty well on tall skinny kids. The waistband is just tight enough to keep them from falling down, but not enough to be uncomfortable, and they aren't too long in the legs. For shoes, would she wear slippers? Wouldn't work in the snow, but a lot warmer than sandals when it's dry out. I've got no idea on shirts, as my ds isn't picky about those. We have a minor issue when the seasons change and we go from short sleeve to long sleeve and back again,but it usually resovles in a week or so.<br><br>
If she really has SID, it's NOT a power struggle, those clothes really and truly make her feel awful. I have mild sensory issues (not full blown SID, just a few issues), and while I"m not as picky as your dd, wearing clothes that just don't feel right to me makes the whole day miserable. I know it's frustrating as all get out, but try to keep in mind, she truly doesn't feel good about it either.<br><br>
If your insurance will cover it, OT (occupational therapy) and Therapuetic Listening are great for sensory problems.
 

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My DD with SID does not experience sensory input the same way most people do. Things that should hurt her sometimes feel good to her, and things that wouldn't be a big deal to anyone else can cause her great discomfort. This is not about power and control. This is not a discipline issue or game.
 

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Just a few more things to add. I was very sensitive about clothes when I was little...I refused to wear denim at all until I was about 15! Not as bad as your little one, but these are some of things my mom did to help me. First of all, she altered all of my clothing for me so it fit comfortably. I am totally inept at sewing, but she continues to alter my clothing and my dd's. Maybe you can find a friend or relative who sews who can lengthen/shorten sleeves (my mother found ways to do it temporarily) and perform other simple alterations?<br><br>
Try the thrift stores for clothing. A lot of the clothes come from the pre-fat-kid era and are much slimmer in fit.<br><br>
Another thing my mother did was about once a season take me to a big dept store like Sears and help me to pick out things I felt comfortable in. Since I picked them out, I was OK with them. Then she would literally buy 5 of each item and I would wear them day after day.<br><br>
For cold days, a big fuzzy blanket instead of a coat...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There is no brand of clothes or type of clothes she likes. She doesn't like sweat pants at all.<br><br>
myjulybabes, its funny that you mentioned it becauselast night I did take her to a store and let her pick out things and try them on. We got a few outfits with really soft, elastic waist pants and soft long sleeved tees. She seemed so happy and excited and then this morning put on one of the outfits and immediately started screaming that the pants were too big. They're not.. they fit perfectly... she got so hysterical... I'm so sad right now. I am so sad.<br><br>
I was a half an hour late (again or per usual) to work. She was angry and hysterical all morning.<br><br>
I can't even type anymore right now. I can't stop crying. Thank god my boss is on a trip.
 
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