The tags, the seams, the itch and everything we know about Sensory Processing disorder.
I can’t wear socks. I can’t even touch them. To me, they have the “ick factor” It is really hard to describe. But along with the “ick factor” tags are the ultimate arch-enemy of many autistic individuals and autistic kids. A wayward tag can feel like the sharpest cactus scratching the back of your neck or waist.
Sensory processing difficulties was introduced by Dr. A Jean Ayres in the 1970s, after identifying that some brains could not regulate all of this incoming information in the same way that many of us take for granted. People with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound, and movement. They may feel overwhelmed by sensory information. Individuals may seek out sensory experiences or may avoid certain experiences.
Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder
There are some fairly common signs to look out for if Sensory Processing may be affecting your ability to feel comfortable in clothing. They may include;
- Becoming fidgety and unable to focus.
- Constantly adjusting or fidgeting with clothing.
- Regularly wearing the same clothing items, often uniform-like, and becoming uncomfortable if you wear different clothing.
- Wearing clothing that is not appropriate for the weather. Like a hoodie in Summer or a singlet in winter.
- Dressing inappropriately. Avoiding work uniforms or wearing oversized clothing.
What can we do?
It is important to recognise and take sensory processing issues seriously. For those affected, it is not a simple process of just ignoring the sensory issues. If we fail to address Sensory processing issues, it can have devastating effects on our day-to-day living, learning, and employment.
One way we can help those with Sensory processing issues is to embrace assistive technology such as sensory and adaptive clothing. JAM the label has designed a stylish and practical range that is tag-free, has flat seams, and is made with natural soft fabrics. It also embraces accessibility with magnetic closures on its shirts and elastic drop waist on pants. The drop waist pants also embrace easy-to-grasp belt loops for ease of dressing and comfort.
JAM clothes have been designed to include subtle additions or modifications. This allows the wearer to put on and take off clothing easily and to be able to wear comfortably.
But the JAM design features are so simple that sometimes it isn’t clear exactly what they are, which is perfect for anyone who has Sensory Processing difficulties but still wants to look stylish and be comfortable.
For example, Why fiddle with buttons when you can have magnets that snap together in the blink of an eye? All buttons, including those on the cuff, have been replaced by magnets. Then combine the super soft linen with a printed tag, and you have comfort and style. It also eliminates irritation often caused by itchy tags.
All of the JAM the label clothing is designed for comfort and independence. So, if independent living is also a goal, using this assistive technology can greatly assist.
Can I use NDIS for clothing?
The answer is YES. Of course, it will depend on individual goals and plans. As JAM’s products are designed to make the act of dressing easier, simpler, and more accessible, and therefore increase independence, it means that they can be considered ‘Assistive Technology’ by the NDIS and may be purchased through your ‘Low-Cost Assistive Technology’ or “consumables” budget.
The participant does not require an assessment or report to purchase the accessible clothing via JAM, however, if they like to have a supporting letter on file we suggest they get one from their OT (if they have one).
For more information and to look at the range of adaptable clothing, head to the JAM the label website today.