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Children with Autism - Colour of Clothing

(20 Posts)
nannynick Mon 21-Jul-08 11:04:01

I work with young children, many are on the autistic spectrum.

A parent of one of the autistic children mentioned to me that my choice of clothing colour may not be for the best. My workwear top is Red. She said that Blue or Navy would be better... more calming.

I was wondering what colours of tops, your carer wears. At a local respite unit near me, the staff were a purple colour.

What are your thoughts? Is colour important? Do certain colours have a calming effect on your children? Do certain colours make someone appear more trustworthy (heard that wearing blue to job interviews is a good thing). Do your children react negatively to certain colours - such as Red for example.

coppertop Mon 21-Jul-08 11:21:04

Colour doesn't seem to have an effect on my two boys but I know that the colour yellow often makes me feel nauseous, so I can well imagine colour affecting other children.

I'm just wondering whether you changing colours now would cause more problems than it would solve. I know that when ds1 was younger he didn't seem to recognise his pre-school staff when they weren't wearing their usual clothes.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 21-Jul-08 11:23:42

ds1 wears a different colour t shirt for each day of the week (so do his teachers).

I don't think what other people wear makes any difference at all to ds1.

Widemouthfrog Mon 21-Jul-08 12:17:05

My DS with aspergers is obsessed with red - he wraps himself in a red blanket when he is upset and will always be attracted to red items. What might be calming for one child could be very different for another, so I think you are in a no win situation with this one! he would be very happy if his teacher wore red everyday!

nannynick Mon 21-Jul-08 12:21:00

Thanks for your thoughts.
I already change from Red to White but I take your point coppertop that some children don't like their carers to change clothing colours.
A different colour for each day of the week, not sure it would be practical for me, interesting idea though. If I did do that, I would need to print up a schedule for what colour to wear for each day!

Oh I don't know what to do now. Think I will go and see the embroider and see what shirt colours they have available.

amber32002 Mon 21-Jul-08 16:49:00

The only thing I would say is that some stripey/checked/herringbone patterns can be a real problem for the visual ASD child, so if you're not wearing those, you're not going to be causing too big a problem.

nannynick Mon 21-Jul-08 17:23:49

Ended up getting some white polo shirts, some royal blue polo shirts and some navy sweatshirts. Will also keep my existing red polo shirts as backups.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 21-Jul-08 17:37:21

I think it's textures that can be more of a problem (is for my son anyway).

BeautifulSpectrum Mon 21-Jul-08 18:56:57

Not sure on clothes colours but my daughter seems drawn to red as if it 'sticks' out amounst the other colours (we use a red PECS book). She loves her brothers plain blue room but hated his old room i feel because it had lots of stick 'a' rounds.

She used always drink out of a yellow beaker and wouldnt even try a different coloured one.

I feel that if you stick to similar colour tops than that would help them, it would be predictable for them.

xx

anxiousmax Mon 21-Jul-08 19:11:43

My ds2 prefers white to anything else but is not upset by other colours he can become very distressed by busy patterns.
His visual perception is crap & we think to him it all appears to be moving as he has a real problem with depth & distance so only plain clothes for us.

BeautifulSpectrum Mon 21-Jul-08 19:14:07

Yes my daughters room is plain white, we though it would be for the best. But we are getting her a safespace (room within a room) for her safety and they only come in blue, so i hope she likes it.

anxiousmax Mon 21-Jul-08 19:16:38

ds2's bedroom is white we keep trying to introduce the odd sticker or poster or pattern to his quilt cover. He's all keen until it comes to bedtime & then he won't settle until its removed & we are back to plain white again.
Its like a dentist surgery.

PeachyBAHons Mon 21-Jul-08 19:21:27

doesn't make any difference to my 2 (but agree with CT about yellow!)Colours are said to have certain properties of course- but would suggest that even if you were folowing that you'd need to be wearing green not blue!

Only ASD / colour related incident I can recall was long before my kids when I was caring in a SN unit for adults; I had peoblems as my red hair (now not red) matched the colour of a clients mum, and triggered meltdowns.

asd kids can recognisew people by strangly isolated things though- ds1 looks at haircuts and cant tell people apart well if their styke matches.

BeautifulSpectrum Mon 21-Jul-08 20:34:58

Peachybshons - my daughter, as a older baby, would only go to women who had long blonde hair like me. I have to friends who are identical twins apart from there hair..one long blonde, one short...my dd would only go to the one with long hair. This was before we knew she was autistic. Still now she will get other slim long haired women mixed up with me. She has a long haired 1-2-1 at her special preschool. There is a thing called 'faced blindness' which autistic children seem to have.

My dd is also now a hair sniffer and tends to go to people with long hair to have a good old sniff.

Off topic abit i know, but i surpose its all down to what they may be use to and feel safe with.

xx

BeautifulSpectrum Mon 21-Jul-08 20:37:52

anxiousmax - my dd room is like a dentist surgery too, but ive ordered a pretty rainbow coloured duvet cover - wish me luck! Well actually she never sleeps anyway hmm

Seuss Mon 21-Jul-08 22:33:29

Thinking about it I'm sure my ds doesn't have any colour issues - but it freaked me out reading the OP because he wears lots of different coloured polo-shirts/jumpers and I was trying to work out if there was any good/bad day relationship. Think not - phew. Stupidly it never occured to me that patterns would not be good for some (although ds seems fine) - I will def. think more carefully before going into ds' school. Thanks for the thread - very interesting.

ouryve Mon 21-Jul-08 23:12:15

DS1 loves bright colours. He went to school in his choice of red and orange, today and half the staff at his nursery wear surestart yellow. His teachers and key workers wear pretty muted colours, though and he loves them all just the same.

He did go through a phase where he refused point blank to wear anything plain. Thankfully, DS2 is happy to wear the unusually pristine self-coloured handmedowns.

LeonieD Tue 22-Jul-08 09:34:34

Message withdrawn

PeachyBAHons Tue 22-Jul-08 09:53:56

I did a p[lacement in a 'pink unit', a psychiatric ward for those most in need of calming

Green is suposed to be both calming and healing, whilst blue is creative, yellow energising and I think we all know what red is- confidence.

Oh the mindless junk I have acquired in my brain!

ds1 likes stripes and checks a lot, his colours are florescent yellow and black.
Today he has on a grey stripey t- shirt, yellow and white checked shorts but bizarrely on him they look OK. Oh for his curly blonde hair and suchlike envy that means he can carry of anything.

ds3 likes pink and yellow but doesnt really notice what we put him in- often brights so we can spot him if he bolts! Right now he has on an old Hulk outfot even though Hulk was before his time (belongs to ds2)

PeachyBAHons Tue 22-Jul-08 09:53:56

I did a p[lacement in a 'pink unit', a psychiatric ward for those most in need of calming

Green is suposed to be both calming and healing, whilst blue is creative, yellow energising and I think we all know what red is- confidence.

Oh the mindless junk I have acquired in my brain!

ds1 likes stripes and checks a lot, his colours are florescent yellow and black.
Today he has on a grey stripey t- shirt, yellow and white checked shorts but bizarrely on him they look OK. Oh for his curly blonde hair and suchlike envy that means he can carry of anything.

ds3 likes pink and yellow but doesnt really notice what we put him in- often brights so we can spot him if he bolts! Right now he has on an old Hulk outfot even though Hulk was before his time (belongs to ds2)

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