Why I'm Asking More Businesses to Offer Sensory-Friendly Clothing Options
Have you ever been in a situation where your child won’t wear clothes with tags on them due to sensory issues?
This is something my parents can relate to as well. Growing up on the autism spectrum, one of my biggest challenges was having a speech delay until I was 3. Once I began to start talking, one of the things I often shared with my parents was the uncomfortable sensation of shirts with tags. They would often have to cut the tags off my clothes before presenting them to me to try on for the first time. If there was a tag on them, and I tried them, even if they cut them off after I took the shirt off, I would never wear it again.
That negative connection I’d have for certain clothes would continue for many years during my adolescence. As part of my early intervention plan, my parents started getting me used to different sensory activities that I’d do with my occupational therapists. I had a sensory brush that I’d use for a few minutes each day, starting by using it on my hands, then on my arms, legs and shoulders. This helped tremendously towards my sensory development.
I also loved wearing Hanes shirts when I was a kid because there were absolutely no tags. Being a huge Michael Jordan fan helped with my love of Hanes, as he became the poster celebrity for the entire Hanes brand from all the commercials he’d do over the years for them.
Today I can wear all types of clothes, regardless of tags. As a disability advocate, I advocate for our loved ones by asking local businesses to consider sensory-friendly clothes for our community. This advocacy has included asking businesses to go tag-less, provide soft, pleasing fabrics for their clothes, and offer Velcro shoe options for those who might not be able to tie their shoes.
For those reading this today, I hope you will be able to advocate for businesses to provide sensory-friendly options as well. These items are not only helpful for our loved ones but tend to be more comfortable for anyone. That is a win-win I hope more businesses will consider in the future.
For more on sensory-friendly clothing I’d recommend reading this article on freindshipcircle.org, “8 Online Stores to Purchase Sensory Friendly Clothing.”
A version of this post originally appeared on Kerrymagro.com.
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