One of the hardest lessons I have learned about autism is it’s lack of consistency. What works for one person on the spectrum does not mean it will work for others. You can seriously go broke trying everything that you are recommended by other parents, specialists, and online. There is no “try it risk free” or “money back guarantee”.
When we saw our Occupational Therapist (OT) we were told that Reine MAY benefit from compression vests. A compression vest is a vest usually made of a silicone like or wet suit material. Some are weighted, some zip up and some have velcro closures to help tighten them. The goal of these vests is to apply a deep pressure to help calm someone on the spectrum. Some do not do well with the pressure. This is where the “try” it part come into play.
I was told to take a chance and order one. Upon my research into them, I realized 2 things…
1. They have a starting price of about $50 and go up to $150+ with some as high as $400.
2. They scream I HAVE AUTISM!!!! Reine is already becoming aware that she different from others in her world.She is also developing her own sense of style. These would soooo put a cramp in her fashion choices.
Oh and so you know, you should only wear these vests for a couple of hours max.
I also found that many parents buy their children clothes several sizes too small and layer their children in them. Think Spanx type undergarments, 2 sizes too small. That worried me to be honest. There have been studies done on wearing Spanx type clothing that fits on a regular basis and injuries that result from it. And they fit properly. Imagine 2+ sizes too small. Reine’s pain receptors are different then most people. She would not be able to tell me that something was hurting her or uncomfortable. She would not honestly know.
I knew I had to think outside of the box once again. I am getting really good at thinking outside of the box with Reine.
I sat down and looked at pics of Reine, looked at her laundry, her dresser drawers, anything that she wore and even what she REFUSED to wear.
I noticed something, she LOVED tighter clothing.
- Snug capris with a tank and a slightly form fitting sweatshirt was her must have choice of clothing for most of the summer.
- Form fitting skinny jeans or leggings and a form fitting shirt were her fall pick of clothing.
- PJs are always leggings and a form fitting shirt.
My Light Bulb Moment…..
When we were at the beach in September, we got what I can only call a chemical reaction sunborn. We had to buy my middle daughter new clothes that she could wear comfortably. She chose tank tops that were made from a clingy material, super soft, and kept their shape incredibly well. She lived in them for almost 2 weeks while she healed.
I began looking for them in Reine’s size. I also began looking at pants in the same or similar material. They were almost like the compression clothing that athletes wear. However they were not quite as tight. After some searching, I was able to find exactly what we were looking for.
- Nylon/Spandex. It is a flexible, breathable fabric that holds it’s shape.
- Polyester/Spandex AKA compression clothing for kids.
- 100% Polyester Fleece
Reine LOVED the clothes. She started calling them her “HUG” clothing. I have made sure she is WELL stocked on them. They are in her exact size. The combo works incredible for her in regards to help her feel calm and relaxed. So much so that she asks for them if they are NOT offered to her.
Her fall and winter wardrobe has consisted of the following:
- Long sleeve compression shirts
- Arm warmers
- Leg warmers
- Skinny Jeans
PJs are the tanks and leggings. If she wears a regular shirt she wears a tank under it.
This spring and summer will consist of the following:
- Yoga shorts
- “Bike” shorts
- Short sleeve compression shirts
If she wears a regular pair of shorts she will have a pair of her “bike” shorts underneath. If she wears a regular t-shirt, you guessed it, a tank will be worn underneath.
Even mermaids need their HUG clothes…