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SPD parents Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
Nov 11th

If your LO is a sensory-avoider, how do you help them overcome some of their triggers/fears?

For instance, DS1 will NOT wear new or certain kinds of clothes. He won’t wear pajamas, shorts, colored socks, or any new T-shirt (regardless if it’s identical to an old one he will wear). His shirts are all getting too small or worn out. He has a lot of new t-shirts he got for his birthday in August, but he refuses to wear them. We’ve tried rewards, letting him handle them, asking him to dress himself (he still won’t put his own pants or shirt on). I don’t know how to help him overcome this.
He has an appointment next week for his WCC, but DH has to take him and I can’t count on him to make sure he asks about this. Thought I’d ask some experienced parents on here in the meantime.

TIA

The Original Bob 4 kids; 4 angel babies; <3, CA, United States 36748 posts
status Nov 11th

I would just put the shirt on him and show him that he's not gonna die from wearing a new shirt and the other clothes you mentioned. Doesn't matter if he's kicking, screaming and crying leave it on him. Have you asked him what would happen to him if he wore a new shirt or the other clothes? The only way for him to get over his fears is to face them and realize it's not a big deal. 

Cat.Woman. 2 kids; Gotham City, PA, United States 8842 posts
Nov 11th

Have you tried taking him to the store and letting him pick out clothes? 

Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
Nov 11th

Quoting The Original Bob:
I would just put the shirt on him and show him that he's not gonna die from wearing a new shirt and the other clothes you mentioned. Doesn't matter if he's kicking, screaming and crying leave it on him. Have you asked him what would happen to him if he wore a new shirt or the other clothes? The only way for him to get over his fears is to face them and realize it's not a big deal. 



I actually tried that today. He threw a huge fit, I tried to ignore it. He ended up ruining a brand new shirt by stretching it too far. I could hear the seams starting to rip. I thought about making him wear it all stretched, but we were going to BIL’s birthday dinner and I wanted him to look nice.

I am at a total loss. His fit was so physically and emotionally exhausting for both of us.

Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
Nov 11th

Quoting Cat.Woman.:
Have you tried taking him to the store and letting him pick out clothes? 


Yes, and he will say he likes something or thinks it’s cool but then says he won’t wear it. We’ve gone ahead and bought things he picked out and once we’re home he doesn’t want to put it on.

Cat.Woman. 2 kids; Gotham City, PA, United States 8842 posts
Nov 11th

Quoting Dee♡:

Yes, and he will say he likes something or thinks it’s cool but then says he won’t wear it. We’ve gone ahead and bought things he picked out and once we’re home he doesn’t want to put it on.


Maybe if he picks it out, have him try it on in the store? 

The Original Bob 4 kids; 4 angel babies; <3, CA, United States 36748 posts
status Nov 12th

Quoting Dee♡:

I actually tried that today. He threw a huge fit, I tried to ignore it. He ended up ruining a brand new shirt by stretching it too far. I could hear the seams starting to rip. I thought about making him wear it all stretched, but we were going to BIL’s birthday dinner and I wanted him to look nice.

I am at a total loss. His fit was so physically and emotionally exhausting for both of us.


I'd try again. It may be physically and emotionally exhausting but you can't give in. 

Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
Nov 12th

Quoting Cat.Woman.:

Maybe if he picks it out, have him try it on in the store? 


We’ve asked him to try things on in the dressing room and he doesn’t want to. I don’t push it then because I don’t want to subject either of us to a public meltdown.

Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
Nov 12th

Quoting The Original Bob:

I'd try again. It may be physically and emotionally exhausting but you can't give in. 


I will try again. 

I wish I understood WHY he doesn’t like specific shirts. New jeans he’s fine with. New socks, as long as they are grey and white no-show socks, he’s fine with. Underwear no issue at all. New t-shirts, though, regardless of color/design are not ok. Unknown

♥Jessie♥ TTC since Sep 2017; 4 kids; 2 angel babies; Idaho 13781 posts
Nov 12th


Have you tried a reward chart? I know this is just a TV show but on Parenthood their son has aspergers and when he doesnt want to do something but does it anyhow he earns a reward or sticker (10 stickers equals reward) depending on how big of a deal it was. They use it for everything. Including something like wearing a new shirt. It helps to push him out of his comfort zone. But no leeway. If he chooses not to do it there is no halfway reward or something. He has to complete the task.

Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
Nov 12th

Quoting ♥Jessie♥:

Have you tried a reward chart? I know this is just a TV show but on Parenthood their son has aspergers and when he doesnt want to do something but does it anyhow he earns a reward or sticker (10 stickers equals reward) depending on how big of a deal it was. They use it for everything. Including something like wearing a new shirt. It helps to push him out of his comfort zone. But no leeway. If he chooses not to do it there is no halfway reward or something. He has to complete the task.


Not for trying new things. We’ve tried it for chores and it didn’t really intice him. I have to walk him through chores step by step to get him to do them or he gets overwhelmed/overstimulated. We tried offering a reward if he did it by himself and he would just say he didn’t want the reward. So the reward chart has not been used since.

.casper. TTC since Jan 2017; 3 kids; 1 angel baby; Neverland, NJ, Christmas Island 1968 posts
2 days ago

If your DS has sensory issues, a reward chart or telling him to get over it isn't going to do anything. seriously.
have you spoken to your paediatrician about it? They can refer you to an occupational therapist. There are compressions and things you can do to try to help. But if he doesn't like certain clothes or materials, don't buy them. They might seem ok to you, but they can be physically painful to a child with sensory problems. Seams and labels are a big trigger. Have you tried putting them inside out?
were struggling with sensory issues at the moment, and it's been a long journey 

Dee♡ 2 kids; 1 angel baby; .., IN, United States 5988 posts
2 days ago

Quoting .casper.:
If your DS has sensory issues, a reward chart or telling him to get over it isn't going to do anything. seriously.
have you spoken to your paediatrician about it? They can refer you to an occupational therapist. There are compressions and things you can do to try to help. But if he doesn't like certain clothes or materials, don't buy them. They might seem ok to you, but they can be physically painful to a child with sensory problems. Seams and labels are a big trigger. Have you tried putting them inside out?
were struggling with sensory issues at the moment, and it's been a long journey 


He has his WCC in the morning and DH is supposed to ask about it. Yeah, force and reward charts have proven ineffective.

The thing is, his triggers with clothes are all over the place. Jeans are all fine. We don’t buy him shorts anymore because he won’t wear them. PJs, he’s iffy. Some he will wear and some he won’t but there’s no particular pattern. With shirts, he likes JUST t-shirts. No long sleeves, button-ups, flannels, thermals, polos, etc. So we bought him a bunch of t-shirts. He won’t wear them because they look different (different designs, but designs we thought he’d like, i.e. trucks, tractors, superheros). So we bought him plain black ones like one he has and wears. Still wouldn’t wear them because they’re new. So I’m not sure what to do. He can’t wear his size 3T-4T shirts forever.

♥Jessie♥ TTC since Sep 2017; 4 kids; 2 angel babies; Idaho 13781 posts
2 days ago

Quoting Dee♡:

He has his WCC in the morning and DH is supposed to ask about it. Yeah, force and reward charts have proven ineffective.

The thing is, his triggers with clothes are all over the place. Jeans are all fine. We don’t buy him shorts anymore because he won’t wear them. PJs, he’s iffy. Some he will wear and some he won’t but there’s no particular pattern. With shirts, he likes JUST t-shirts. No long sleeves, button-ups, flannels, thermals, polos, etc. So we bought him a bunch of t-shirts. He won’t wear them because they look different (different designs, but designs we thought he’d like, i.e. trucks, tractors, superheros). So we bought him plain black ones like one he has and wears. Still wouldn’t wear them because they’re new. So I’m not sure what to do. He can’t wear his size 3T-4T shirts forever.


Maybe washing them enough times to make them feel used instead of brand new?