Clothes phobia

(14 Posts)
feeltheforce Mon 04-Mar-13 10:33:35

Does anyone else have a LO who won't wear certain types of clothes?

My 7 year old DS is making life more and more difficult. He won't wear his school tops, he refuses to wear pants anymore (and I have tried all types). Now he has added fleeces and anything with hoods (i.e his coat). He goes into complete meltdown sometimes, pulling collars like they are choking him or trying to drag clothes off that he has had on for 5/10 minutes. Not sure if this is a phase but it is making dressing exhausting and getting him very very distressed at times!

pictish Mon 04-Mar-13 10:40:34

I've had a bit of this with ds2. He is 5.
I just didn't buy into it tbh. I thought about the prospect of having to faff over his clothes every day if I caved into it, so I endured the storm and insisted.

He still occasionally complains vigorously, but it's short lived. We get on with our day with the offending item in place.

feeltheforce Mon 04-Mar-13 10:46:08

pictish good to hear I am not alone. I think the problem I face is he strips it off the offending item and gets so so upset. I have threatened him going to school with no top or no coat (even no trousers) - but he runs away crying, half dressed. He is too big to physically get out the door so that I can carry out this threat. It is exhausting.

pictish Mon 04-Mar-13 10:55:00

Hmm well. I put a stop to the proceedings by employing the naughty step.
If ds 2 kicks off about something he hates (a double t-shirt for example, one t-shirt over another one) I calmly but firmly warm him he has to stop or he will go to the bottom of the stairs for 5 minutes. Then I follow it through. Once is usually enough, but I do repeat the process twice sometimes, or even (very rare) three times, until he understands that he is wearing what I have dressed him in and that I don't want any more fuss.

To those that might think that sounds a bit dictatorial, please understand that ds2 is a very strong willed boy, and if I give in to his whims, he uses them as a means of control. Not because he is a bad natured boy - he truly isn't...he is a stickler for routine though and likes to make up his own, to grip steadfastly to. We are a family of 5 so digging one's heels in over nonsense like not wanting a hood on, is not tolerated. There isn't time to dance to his tune.

MaryBS Mon 04-Mar-13 11:01:21

Does he have any other sensory issues? My son has real issues with clothes, and its a question of finding a compromise. For example he wears v-necked school jumpers rather than round necked ones.

feeltheforce Mon 04-Mar-13 11:08:35

I'm not sure if he has other issues but he is a real stickler for routine - he only likes to eat breakfast with an orange spoon for example. He always has to sit in the same chair.

Re sensory - he won't have his nails cut because he 'cant feel them'. He absolutely hates things around his neck - hence the collars and uniform issues.

I do try and compromise because he gets in such a state and I can see he has no control.

MaryBS Mon 04-Mar-13 11:21:50

Mine is a stickler for routine too, although he has got a lot better. I hesitate to mention it, but my DS has Asperger Syndrome. It was highlighted at preschool because of his need for routine (eg always standing last in a queue), and not being very good at playing "sharing" games.

pictish Mon 04-Mar-13 13:13:15

By contrast my son does not have ASD or Aspergers...he's just a stickler. And a pain.

feeltheforce Mon 04-Mar-13 16:55:44

Yes, I don't think he has Aspergers just an oversensitive response to clothes. Overall, he doesn't like new things or situations. I am stressing because he is about to start a school that demands shirt and tie. I can imagine the meltdown already.

MaryBS Mon 04-Mar-13 18:43:37

It IS possible to have hypersensitivity to clothes and other sensations (how is he with water on the face?) without it being associated with other conditions. It seems to be a common issue (try googling clothes hypersensitivity!).

Could well be facing the same issues re: shirt/tie as it looks like the school DS will be going to in September is going to change its uniform sad

Goldmandra Mon 04-Mar-13 23:01:52

I think lots of children go through a stage of objecting to certain clothing but this can be managed with normal behaviour management techniques, the child realises that they stop feeling the offending item a few minutes into wearing it and they pretty much give up complaining.

There are some children whose sensory processing isn't quite what it should be. These are often children who are on the Autism Spectrum but for some this is their only difficulty.

This second group of children don't stop feeling the clothing after a few minutes of wearing it. The sensation continues without reducing or even increases and it becomes overwhelming. The child becomes unable to think about anything else and they are overcome with panic and anger. For these children the normal behaviour management techniques won't work because nothing they are threatened with is worth the torture of wearing the clothing.

My DDs both have AS and have this hypersensitivity at different intensities and so do I to some extent. If I wear certain fabrics or a layer of clothing which is too tight, especially on my arms I get really snappy and bad tempered. When I realise it is the clothing and get changed the relief is overwhelming.

My DD2 (9) rips clothes off like they are burning her sometimes and no amount of bribery or punishment would ever entice her to keep them on for one second longer.

I have learned to let her make her own decisions. Sometimes she would rather have the sensation of being cold than the sensation of wearing the coat. When her anxiety levels are high her sensory processing difficulties become worse and she can only tolerate well used comfortable fabrics, seamless socks and certain cuffs. That can make for an eccentric look but it is better than the alternative.

I cut labels out of clothes, buy seamless socks and iron them, by t-shirts from the Sensory Smart Store, mend trousers with holes in, buy two or three extras of clothing which turns out to be comfortable and I have occasionally had to fight to get her school to allow her to wear an adapted uniform which included a sweatshirt in a different style but same colour as the school uniform. Sometimes if she can't wear clothes appropriate to an occasion and it is a problem we just don't go.

We have to plan extra time to allow for putting gloves, coats, boots etc on and off several times to make sure they are on right too.

My DD1 (15) struggles to wear her High School uniform. I have cut the collar and front out of her blouse and sewn it into her jumper to make it all one layer and she has special permission to wear a tied tie rather than the clip-ons all the other pupils wear.

Get your DS to practise wearing his uniform over the summer. If he really can't tolerate it talk to the school and find a compromise. DD2 couldn't tolerate the normal school trouser fabric. She wore black jeans until M&S started making cotton school trousers. It was more important that she was in school and able to learn than that she was wearing the uniform.

Do your best, look for compromises and try very hard to keep calm. It is really hard to do that last one and I don't always succeed.

HTH

Wonderland121 Mon 04-Mar-13 23:07:20

Yes constant battle with my dd

Won't wear -
Jeans or any trousers with zip or button.
Tights
Any coat that is to thick
No hoods
No laces on shoes
Buttons on anything have to be done up right to the top
School summer dresses are a nightmare
Won't wear any skirt that swings/flared out to much.

We spend a fortune trying to make dd happy in her clothes Tis a bloody nightmare hmm

feeltheforce Tue 05-Mar-13 14:28:34

That all sounds so familiar. Interesting you say you don't like some clothes goldmandra because I also hate some materials and I also feel out of sorts if I have to wear them. I wonder if he just has a very very exaggerated reaction similar to mine. I do now have to build in ten minutes to dressing time and make sure I have backup alternatives just to get out the door in the morning. The whole tie thing fills me with terror!

ppeatfruit Tue 05-Mar-13 14:44:47

The materials that are used esp. for school uniforms are vile and plasticised, the cotton used is not cotton it's nylon.IMO it' s normal not to like wearing the clothes, I hate wool round my neck and I'm not naughty IMO pictish is being unfeeling.

Once again it's the DCs aren't allowed to have feelings and if they do they're naughty hmm.

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