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Advice needed for 3 year old with sensory issues.(4 Posts)
Hi, I would be grateful for and advice or experience anyone is willing to share about my 3 yr old DS2. He has sensory issues, the most challenging are around clothes, getting him to wear clothes appropriate for the weather is challenging at best. He can also get overwhelmed by too much noise, too bright or stimulating environment etc. We have recently seen an Occupational therapist who has given us some things to do with him but obviously it will be a long process. He is on the waiting list for a development paediatrician assessment. He is also very routine orientated and struggles with change/transition. With the clothes issues it is difficult to tell how much is sensory and how much is not liking change (doesn't want to wear a coat as he hasn't worn it all summer. Out grown lots of stuff but won't accept new things.)
I don't really know where to start with helping him. I have seen several books about sensory issues but don't know which is most helpful. Any advice on resources or what has helped other children would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Hi, so sorry you are struggling at the moment. My DS has just turned 13 and when he was 3 years old was very similar with the clothing issue. We have had many a day when the frost was on the ground where DS would only wear shorts and t-shirt so we had to stay indoors and similarly we have had swelteringly hot sunny days where he has insisted on full arctic attire complete with hat, scarf and gloves! It is a nightmare and I completely understand the upset and frustration.
Over the years we have developed a number of strategies to combat this problem and have had some success (not complete success, he still spent half the summer in a furry santa onesie which he has worn at least some of the day every day for the last 2 years! He hasn't grown much.). We have found buying clothes which feel the same or are made of the same fabric has helped, joggers the same as the shorts or long sleeve t shirts the same as his short sleeve ones. We have also had some success allowing DS to walk around the shop (we usually go early when it's quiet although we have been to Asda at 3 in the morning before now as he doesn't sleep) and choose his own things but they are not always coordinated. We have had to address the cost issue by having coats all year round, in the summer we have a thin coat and in the winter we move to something thicker, although DS is very particular and if the coat is too heavy, too thick or feels wrong to him he won't wear it.
When DS was younger we used to buy his favourite things in bigger sizes so he would have them the following year too.
I hope you find something that works for you!
Thanks for replying, the Santa onesie made me smile. It is interesting that you say your son will have sometimes wear inappropriate clothes for the weather whatever the weather. Something we are finding frustrating at the moment is that all summer ds insisted on long trousers and long sleeved t shirts and often a jumper as well and was boiling. We thought that would mean it would be easier when the weather was colder but now he often wants to wear less clothes and is cold. Staying in isn't possible unfortunately as we have to take ds1 (age 6) to school.
Over the summer we tried everything we could think of to get him to try new clothes, letting him choose things, getting him and his brother matching things (he adores his brother and will often copy him) leaving clothes out for him to get used to without him having to wear them. We gave up on shorts and t shirts and got him thiner cooler trousers and long sleeved stuff which he did eventually wear, washing stuff first and putting it in his drawer with stuff he likes and putting one new thing on with other clothes he likes when he is relaxed and distracted seems to work but it takes ages! His clothes are his brothers hand me downs which means I can't buy more in bigger sizes, I think we will just have to accept that we need to buy new things for him. It is difficult as it's hard to predict what he will wear so we waste money buying stuff that we never use.
He seems to really feel the cold and is obviously uncomfortable and his anxiety type behaviours increase when he is too hot or cold but he's not able to recognise that I don't think. Although this morning he got dressed fairly happily and wore his coat on the school run (on Monday I ended up taking him to nursery with no trousers on so it's a definite improvement!)
The going to nursery without trousers sounds familiar, some battles I have accepted I will never win 😀 Excellent that you had a morning where you managed to get a suitable outfit and a coat, I find it so important to focus on the positives. My DS also doesn't make the connection with feeling too hot or cold with the clothes he wears and also interestingly I have noticed he seems to associate the feel of a fabric with warmth rather than its thickness etc. I forgot to mention before that we have had a lot of success with school uniform, other than the not taking off the jumper no matter the temperature. It sounds as if you are doing everything you can as parents, i really hope things fall in to place with DS for you.
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