Fashion sense. I certainly have very little of it. Looking back at pictures, I want to scream, “Who dressed you and why?” Those who know me know that it’s no secret that my younger sisters are pretty fashion forward, and through the years they’ve given me some much-needed fashion advice. I still REFUSE to wear skinny jeans, and I have yet to buy one of those decorative scarves, but as a stay-at-home-mom I find that when I look put-together I feel good about myself.
Why the sudden fashion blog? I find it pretty ironic that what I lack in the fashion department, “B” more than makes up for it. She totally gets it, or at least it appears that way (who am I to truly judge given my previous statements). She received a set of paper dolls from us last year, and they are by far one of her most favorite things to play with. It came with a book of 100+ outfits and accessories. “B’s” favorite thing to do is to line up all of the outfits (somewhat typical behavior for kids with sensory difficulties to try to control and organize their environment) and coordinate different accessories to match. The different combinations she comes up with astound me! It’s like I’m looking at clothing and colors models would wear in fashion magazines! It also makes me wonder if “B” will always be able to wear the things she likes with her body’s full cooperation.
I think because I lack such a sense of style, I try to make up for it when I pick out my kid’s clothes. I buy cute and trendy, and I tend to forget about comfort. “B” especially has a need for comfort. About 3 weeks ago, I took the girls down to my sister’s to have photos taken. It never dawned on me to think about comfort when picking out “B’s” clothes. For Sunday School that morning, I picked out a pair of khakis and a bright pink top. “B” loved the top but totally freaked out on me when I put on the khaki’s. She started sobbing and kept saying, “I don’t want to wear these!” When I asked her what was her problem, she exclaimed, “I can’t see myself in these pants! I don’t like the color.” I stood there dumbfounded. She totally was freaking out about the coloring making her appear naked, or like she blended in to her own skin! For pictures that day, I got “B” dressed in a really cute beige sweater. Again, she freaked out and started bawling. This time it was because the sweater was rough and scratchy (Really, it was just line dried so a little stiff).
I had to stop myself and remember that kids with sensory issues aren’t reacting this way to be difficult or fashionista divas. She was genuinely upset with how her body felt in the clothing she tried on. She also feels this way about certain shoes, socks (they have to be low-cut), coats, shirts, and pants. She prefers cute/comfy sweat pants or leggings to jeans.
Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) often have a sensory aversion to new/stiff clothes or clothes with various textures. Some kids with SPD have an extremely hypersensitive sense to smell, cannot handle certain smells, and will refuse to wear clothing before it is washed. Some don’t like the feel of shoes and socks on their feet and prefer the feeling of walking around barefoot. Many parents of kids with sensory difficulties find themselves cutting the tags out of their child’s shirts (Thank goodness for the clothing manufacturers who now make tag-less shirts). There are also kids with hypo-sensitive responses to tactile information. Please visit the following page for more info on tactile defensiveness and SPD http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/tactile-defensiveness.html.
Going back to picture day, I tried to really listen to what she was saying. I also realized to keep her in clothes that were extremely uncomfortable would not help her attitude during pictures. We compromised. I found her a fashionista diva outfit she loved and was quite comfortable, and the pictures of her and her sister did turn out pretty darn cute 🙂