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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DD is turning 5 next month and this issue has slowly been getting worse. More than 1/2 the clothes in her closet she won't wear because there is something about them that irritates her skin. We've cut the tags out of everything where we can, but sometimes it is the pattern of the clothing, or just the seams themselves that drive her crazy.<br><br>
Almost everything is cotton, but it isn't the material itself that drives her nuts, it is the various bumps and loose bits that get at her.<br><br>
I need advice on this!! If your child has the same sensitivity, when did it start and did it reach a climax point? (And does it ever start to get better for them?!) It just seems to be getting progressively worse for us.<br><br>
Tell me your tips!! I need to know how to make her clothes more wearable.<br><br>
This morning her socks were bugging her - for the very first time (socks she's worn many times). So I showed her how to put the socks on inside-out so the seam wasn't against her toes. She wasn't happy because "none of the other kids in school wear them like this" but she was grateful to have a way to wear them so they don't bug her. Often she'll wear a tank top under whatever shirt/dress she's wearing so that it doesn't itch, but we're heading into summer (90 degrees or more most days until October here) so that's not ideal. (And doesn't always work anyway).<br><br>
But what else can I do? When we go buy clothes she'll say something is fine (sometimes just because she really wants to buy it, sometimes because it DOES feel fine until she's worn it a while). But then she ends up wearing very few of the things we get. Such a waste of money!!! And so frustrating for my DD!
 

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My daughter is this way, but it's actual fabrics. She won't wear corduroy or denim most days because they're not "soft." Actually, I'm like this to a certain extent too: if I have a stray hair caught in the back of my bra (a likely occurrence), it drives me mad.<br><br>
See if you can get a copy of Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRaising-Your-Spirited-Child-Perceptive%2Fdp%2F0060923288" target="_blank">Raising Your Spirited Child.</a> This is one of the "signs" of sensitivity. I don't know if she'll ever grow out of it, but you and she will learn to manage it.
 

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My DD1, who will be 4 in July, is like that. If it's itchy or scratchy or lumpy or "poke-y" or not soft enough then it drives her (and therefore the rest of us) crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Stacey - funny you should mention the spirited child book. I've just started it and DD fits the spirited description to a T. I'm reading it very slowly because every page has a gem for me to think about. Hopefully it will help me!!<br><br>
This sensitivity to what she is wearing took a while to appear but it is full force right now.
 

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My DD is not this way but I was as a child, extremely so, and still am to some extent.<br><br>
You ask when it gets better... I'd say around age 30.<br><br>
The hardest part for my mother, I think, was not being able to predict what I could or couldn't wear. Compounded by the fact that I couldn't always tell, either, not in one trying on at the store. Some fabrics were obviously out (anything not cotton). But even some cottons were not comfortable.<br><br>
I'm pretty sure the Hannah Andersson dresses and pants, loose and cottony, would have worked fine for me. Sweats always seemed to work, too. And if you find a kind of sock that works for your daughter, buy a bunch. Remove all tags (and you might have to sew the hole closed). Watch out for neckbands that are of a different feel than the rest of the fabric - sometimes I didn't realize how much it bothered me until I'd worn it 2-3 times.
 

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You might also read the book "The Highly Sensitive Child" by Elaine Aron. I found it very helpful with my sensitive kids.<br><br>
If it gets worse and she's down to very few things that she can wear, you might also look into Sensory Processing Disorder (The Out of Sync Child or Sensational Kids are good places to start).<br><br>
A lot of it, though, is trial and error. Ds likes his clothes somewhat close fitting because loose fitting things bother him. Dd is the exact opposite and likes loose fitting things. She loves the Hanna Andersson dresses (I usually get them used on Ebay since they're expensive), leggings (Target brand are fine, though I think she prefers the Gymboree ones) and all cotton tshirts. Lands End dresses are good too. Socks are hit or miss, but if they're really bothering her, we'll turn them inside out so the seam is not next to her skin.
 

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You mentioned seams bothering her--do you know if it's just the lumpiness of the seams interrupting the otherwise smooth expanse of fabric, or if the thread (usually a cotton-polyester blend) is making her itch?<br><br>
For me, now that I'm in my 30s, I've noticed that the threads they use to hold the fabric together make me itch. I don't have a rash, but I have a few itchy bumps that appear (usually in close proximity to where the seams have been rubbing against my skin, but only one bump on one side of my body, which is why it took me a while to figure out). Most of the time it's very mild, and simply changing the style/manufacturer of clothing every day eliminates most of the problem...but there was once where it was really driving me nuts, and I had to wear all my clothes inside out, including my underwear, for a few days. (So for me, it's not just the polyester thread, but also the elastic thread in undies and bras.)<br><br>
I'm confident I never had this problem when I was younger, so I'm attributing it to a skin sensitivity issue rather than a sensory integration issue. If you think your daughter could have sensory integration issues, and your reading doesn't help enough, you can try contacting an occupational therapist that is certified in sensory integration (my mom's one, which is the only reason I'm aware of it).<br><br>
And another option would be to learn how to sew; use all-cotton fabric, and more importantly, all-cotton thread (usually called quilting thread). I know how to sew, but I'm not willing to but the time/energy into making my own clothes...so I'm just mentioning it as a possibility for your consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much, everyone, for all the input. One further question - how do I know if it is a sensory integration issue that needs further help / therapy?<br><br>
I don't know yet if it is the texture or the material causing the worst of it - but I'll watch to see if we can determine that.<br><br>
I have to say, DD is dealing very well. She's very sad that so many of her favorite clothes are too uncomfortable but for the most part has been taking it well, when I know her easiest response would be to get whiney and/or dissolve into the tantrum zone.
 

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OK, reading your post on your dd's sleep issues, I would say that I'm leaning more toward sensory processing issues. Sleep is a often issue for sensory kids (they can't self-regulate down enough to fall asleep).<br>
Have you tried heavy/weighted blankets for sleep? I'd also try melatonin. It's what I use with ds when he absolutely cannot fall asleep.<br><br>
I've got two highly sensitive kids: One with SPD (sensory processing disorder) and one without. Dd is sensitive, but she can get used to things and we can usually find something that works. Ds just couldn't deal with sensory input.<br><br>
We got ds (our SPD kid) occupational therapy when it was clear that he wasn't outgrowing the sensitivities and that they were getting worse. He was constantly scanning places for fire alarms in case they went off. He wouldn't change from long sleeves to short sleeves even when it was 90 degrees. He was actively choosing not to engage in any art because either it was 'messy' or it took fine motor skills he lacked. It was pretty clear that he was spending so much of his time trying to regulate himself that he didn't have much left over for social interaction.<br><br>
I've never regretted getting occupational therapy (OT) for him. He now willingly changes from long sleeves/short and back again. He wore sandals without socks for the first time ever the summer we started OT. Now he goes all summer without sandals. He began enjoying all sorts of kid things that he'd been avoiding - sand, water play, riding bikes, etc. We found out through the OT evaluation that he also had vestibular/balance issues and very weak core muscles. OT really helped those too.<br><br>
He's still a highly sensitive kid, but he can deal with thing (usually). He still has some fine motor delays (can't snap/button well, can't cut meat at age 9), but overall he's within the range of typical.<br><br>
Sensational Kids is my favorite book describing SPD. I'd recommend getting a copy from your library seeing if the descriptions fit your dd.
 

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DD #2 is very sensitive. She started having clothing issues around 3 and now finally at 7 it has subsided but I think a lot of that has to do with her getting better at communicating what she will wear.<br>
It basically comes down to simple dresses...no buttons or zippers or odd cuts (like a wide neck where it might slip off her shoulder), & the smaller the seam the better. As far as pants go it's the softest ones I can find such as fleece and simple stretch pants...no denim or cords at all! Basic t-shirts are ok as long as there isn't anything itchy on the inside from the design on the front.<br>
Shoes! Still somewhat of any issue. Right now she likes converse, but oh man when she left pre-school and couldn't wear flip flops to kindergarten...talk about a melt down for days!<br>
There are days still when she just has a fit because nothing feels right, but thankfully they are few and far between.<br>
Like a PP said as a parent the hardest thing was not knowing what was going to set her off or how to fix it, because like your daughter many things were fine one day but not the next.<br>
I wish I'd known about some of these books when DD was littler but I'm going to check them out now!<br><br>
also, on a side note...when she was in the height of her sensitivity issues I could not trim her nails with out a major fit. I'd have to rub her fingernails after and sing to distract her, but it just felt so uncomfortable to her.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I know it can be trying. There were many times when I would break down too so frustrated and tired and then both of us were in tears...
 

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I had clothing issues when I was little. I wore my socks inside out for years. And I remember having to wear my jeans way down low around my hips because I couldn't stand to have them any higher.<br><br>
I now wear my socks right side out.<br><br>
But I still can't stand pants with high waist bands (but now i'm old enough to know to just buy them cut lower).<br><br>
I also can't stand tight fitting warm clothes. So, for instance, a tight fitting tanktop doesn't bother me. Tight fitting long sleeves or sweaters drive me crazy.<br><br>
It also used to drive me crazy when between my fingers would get sticky feeling. my dad used to get really frustrated because i'd lick between my fingers to try to get the stickiness to go away, but of course that just made it worse.
 

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i know some people wouldn't like this, but ds wears clothes inside out because it's smoother that way. (as it is, he only wears sweat pants/shorts and tshirts, so the inside out works easily).
 
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