Adaptive Clothing for Children/Adolescents with Sensory Integration Challenges

Adaptive Clothing for Children/Adolescents with Sensory Integration Challenges


Does your child complain that their clothing is uncomfortable or irritates them? Do they avoid wearing certain articles of clothing because of the stitching or tags? If your child experiences difficulty communicating why they are avoiding certain articles of clothing, it may be due to difficulty processing the way the clothing feels on their skin. If your child becomes frustrated or overwhelmed by a certain fabric, particular fit or stitching, it may be related to sensory processing disorder. Many children who have difficulty processing tactile sensations and demands to wear or not wear certain types of clothing may be sensitive to specific sensations and types of fabrics. 


It is important as a parent to be aware of resources and tips that can be utilized when your child has a tantrum regarding a specific article of clothing. Some tips include:

1.     Do not force your child to wear a specific article of clothing if they are adamant about how it makes them feel, however, encouraging your child to try new clothing options can be very impactful.

2.     Give your child options, or the opportunity to include your child in choosing their clothing. We want to aim for increased participation in the clothing selection process by having them select between two different options since it may be difficult for them.

3.     Seek additional assistance or help from an occupational therapist with sensory integration experience to uncover techniques that can be implemented to help the way your child processes tactile-related sensory information and decrease their tactile defensiveness.  

4.     Becoming aware of brands that offer adaptive clothing for children and adolescents can very well be the solution for your child’s success with dressing.

5.     Lastly, finding the solution that works well for your child may take time and patience, but it is important to support your child during the process.


Adaptive clothing for pediatrics has become a whirlwind of an concept and there are a variety of companies and brands that have options for tag-less, stich-less, compressive and functional clothing. Below are brief descriptions and links for various brands that can provide your child with a sensory-friendly experience.



Cat and Jack

●      Specifically for children with physical disabilities and sensory-processing issues. The items are easy to take on and off, accommodate diapers, and are wheelchair friendly. Some of the pieces even feature hidden openings to allow for abdominal feeding tube insertion. Cat and Jack’s clothing options specifically avoid tags, prominent seams, and scratchy materials, all of which may irritate children with hypersensitivities.

Zappos Adaptive

●      The clothing items are reversible, soft, and without tags, buttons, or zippers. They also sell shoes that can easily be slipped on and off and orthotic-friendly footwear.

Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive

●      The items include modifications to make putting on and taking off clothing easier, such as magnet closures, velcro, one-handed zippers, and side seam openings. They also have adjustable hems to accommodate orthotics and braces. All of the clothes are designed to look similar to other pieces by Tommy Hilfiger, for example by including faux buttons.

Fun and Function

●      Sensory-friendly clothing can be uniquely calming for kids with sensory processing challenges or autism. This fashion-forward line of weighted clothing and compression clothing is designed to soothe and calm. Weighted vests come in a choice of styles and the weights are removable so that kids can wear the vest that looks and feels best to them. Compression shirts and undershirts are thoughtfully designed with sensory sensitivities in mind, with features like super-soft fabric or tag less construction and can be worn alone or under another layer. Perfect for use while traveling, navigating the playground or any time extra focus is needed in school. 

Kozie Clothes

●      Kozie Clothes is committed to serving the unique need for stylish, fun, and therapeutic clothing and products for the Pediatric Special Needs community. Kozie Clothes believes that all children are unique and deserve to feel comfortable and happy every day. They have a wide range of sensory engineered clothing and solutions for kids of all ages, as well as products designed for toddlers, newborns, and preemies who require ongoing medical care. The technology and therapeutic principals incorporated into each design, provides proprioceptive and tactile sensory input, comforting children with highly sensitive nervous systems.

Patti & Ricky

●      Patti & Ricky aim to create a more inclusive shopping experience for all. Their mission is to continue to spread the love, understanding, and acceptance  that Patti + Ricky passed on throughout their lifetimes. Their line ranges from compression clothing to magnetic shirts to braille t-shirts, and tag less and seamless accessories!


Bathing Suits

No Netz

●      No Netz designs clothing with texture-sensitive people in mind to ensure high-quality, thoughtfully designed apparel that solves common irritating problems. Offering comfortable, anti-chafe swimwear for boys and adolescents.



Smart Knit

●      SmartKnit® Seamless Socks are made using a patented knitting process much like how a cocoon is spun. Knitting starts at one point and spins upwards, thus completely eliminating irritating seams and making them ideal for diabetic, arthritic, and sensitive feet.

Friendly Shoes

●      Friendly Shoes’ goal is to create comfortable, functional, and stylish shoes allowing anyone to put on and take off easily. Friendly Shoes increase mobility and independence by discretely accommodating more adaptive needs than any other shoe technology — without sacrificing fashion, comfort, or support. 

Billy Footwear

●      Billy Footwear’s main focus is on shoes that embody universal design, meaning they both appeal to and work for everyone. Smashing fashion with function, BILLY Footwear incorporates zippers that go along the side of the shoes and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely. Thus the wearer can place his or her foot onto the shoe footbed unobstructed. Then with a tug on the zipper-pull the shoe closes and secures overtop the user’s foot. It’s simple. It’s easy. 

Myself Belts

●      Myself Belts one-handed, patented belt closure makes dressing easy.  Myself Belts promotes independence and makes life easier, while benefiting those individuals that have manual dexterity challenges.


Additional Options for Adolescents

Slick Chicks (Partnered with Aerie)

●      Side fasteners simplify getting dressed and make it easy for someone to put on or take off whether they’re sitting down, standing up, or laying down, too. The fasteners have padding on the back designed to feel like a second skin and provide all-day comfort. Slick Chicks is all about bridging the gap between fashion and function. This women-owned company makes innovative, adaptive clothing designed to help people tackle life’s daily challenges. Their mission is to empower people and give them the confidence they need to tackle any of life’s daily challenges, because everyone deserves clothes they can feel good about!

By: Samantha Babyer, OTS



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