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Discussion:
HELP MY SON WILL NOT GET DRESSED!!!
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Hi,

Please help me, my 3 year old son will not get dressed for school in the mornings. My husband and I have tried a whole host of techniques, including time out, letting him choose what to wear and talking etc. He is only getting worst, this morning after two hours I could not get him dressed and I just gave up and did not send him to school and I called out from work.

His morning tantrums are getting longer, more intense and more dangerous because now he is starting to hit himself. I cant take it any more, I just don't now what to do. He is in school where he is suppose to get OT to address his sensory problems but they are short staffed and cannot provide him the OT for at least another two weeks!!

What has everyone else tried? I'm all out of ideas here, I'm open to almost anything. Please help me!!!
Posted on 02/13/13, 08:53 am
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Reply #1 - 02/14/13  10:05am
" Hi Columbus, read your post and felt your concern. My Michael, who is hyper-sensitive had the same problem with dressing. He is 7 now, and is doing beautiful in regards to dressing. If you have insurance, I incourage you to get into SI therapist privately. Michael responded so well and he only went 6 months. Dressing: Try to figure out what it is about the clothing that is causing his sensory issues to flair up. Being hyper-sensitive, my Michael had problems with shirts that were too big, too small, jeans that were too big (he hated the shifting around his waist line, he could feel it. I got him a belt, which caused another set of issues...Shoes, socks, shirts, tags, jeans....ask him which one or ones of each that he likes....and why. If he can't tell you why, you will probably be able to tell why he likes them by looking at them from a sensory point of view. To start, I allowed him to pick the clothes that he felt ok in. this is important,. When you buy other items that fit his specifications, add them to his wardrobe one at a time. Always wash new clothes first to soften them. I sat with Michael each day while he dressed coaching him in a kind and gently manner. Reminding him that he can do it. Give him a lot of rope. I have written a blog qannie47.blogspot.com that shares my journey with sensory issues with twin boys. One is hyper-sensitive, the other is hypo-sensitive. I am guessing your little one is Hyper-sensitive judging by your post. I have a post "when dressing becomes a problem", that talks in more detail. I have made GREAT progress with these tips. Michael still has specific clothing requirements, but his range in what he will wear has taken him into the normal range in the world of dressing...I hope you check out my blog, I think you will find it helpful. also, feel free to email me with questions...I have worked hard for two years now with my kids and they are doing amazing.....qannie47 "
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Reply #2 - 02/14/13  9:21pm
" please email me,,qannie47@gmail.com i will give u my phone numbear...perhaps i can help. Sorry you and your son are going through this...its a difficult time, qannie "
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Reply #3 - 02/20/13  5:02pm
" Thank you for your support regarding this issue. I really appreciate it. "
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Reply #4 - 02/23/13  12:32am
" My son, who is also hyper-sensitive, has struggled with getting dressed for years. He's almost six now, and while it is getting better, it is still a daily challenge that I find I must prepare myself for so that I do not lose patience. My son prefers to always wear pajamas (although any changing of clothes is a bit of a challenge since he also doesn't like the sensation of NOT having his skin covered), even if it means wearing clothes over them. I try to keep a large supply of soft cotton two piece pajamas on hand and we basically use them like long johns, which works fine during the cool months. In the summer I either let him just wear pajamas by themselves, or put a pair of overalls (with buttons instead of buckles -- he objects to the metal buckles) over them.

I also try to work with helping him push his own limits a tiny bit at a time. If we put something on and it feels uncomfortable, I may say, "try wearing it for two minutes of bouncing on the trampoline, and if it still feels uncomfortable, we'll take it off." Often it does still feel uncomfortable, but sometimes the combination of jumping and getting accustomed to the clothes without his full attention on them is enough to help him ease into a new item.

Finally, for what it is worth, I am very sensitive to the feel of clothing but was never allowed, growing up, to be particular about what I wore. I learned to cope with it, but at a significant price. As I got older I began to notice how much the clothes I was wearing affected everything about how I felt -- my sense of confidence, my level of irritation or ease, my ability to focus my attention, etc. I can literally be having a terrible day and by simply noticing that my clothing is not comfortable, and then changing into something that is comfortable, turn the whole day around and have a great one. Awareness of that has helped me to see how important it is to honor my son's need for comfortable clothing. It can mean the difference between him being able to put his attention on living, versus spending an entire day stressed and irritable. "
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Reply #5 - 03/02/14  8:51pm
" Can he tell you why he won't get dressed? When I was little getting dressed in the morning was torture. My issue was temperature. Taking off my warm jammies and exposing my sleepy body to the cold air felt to me like ice pellets blowing in your face feels to other people and then putting on cold stiff clothes felt like wrapping myself in cold wet cardboard. Even now as an adult I have trouble differentiating between the sensations of cold cloth and wet cloth and frequently have to get my husband to tell me if the clothes from the dryer are dry if they have been sitting long enough to get cold. If this is what your little guy is experiencing then there are a couple tricks that we had to resort to with our daughter that might help. Try throwing his clothes in the dryer for a bit before he has to get out of bed and get dressed; then it's a "race" for him to get into the warm clothes before they go cold again. You could even let him take the warm clothes under his blankies and change in bed where he stays warm. Sometimes taking the next days clothes to bed with you works too because then the clothes are the same temperature as you by morning. If it's really worth it to you not to have morning battles, and depending on what kind of clothes the child wears you could even let him go to bed in the clothes he is going to wear the next day (after all, how dirty is he going to get them when he is asleep). Another alternative that works well in winter is letting him sleep in a base layer (like long underwear, two piece is easier) that he can leave on and then just put his day clothes over top. "
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Reply #6 - 03/02/14  8:55pm
" I just wanted to add that if you choose the dryer method be every careful that no zippers or buttons are hot when you give them to him. "

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