Adaptive Clothing Brands I Buy for My Autistic Son
I have always have been a little extra when it comes to my kids’ clothing. As a former fashion editor and stylist, I envisioned what my kids’ style would be. But as many parents know, that only lasts so long. I now let my oldest wear what he likes. But my youngest, who turns 5 this month, is on the Autism Spectrum. Although he doesn’t possess his brother’s fashionista, diva-like (enter mom eye-roll) behavior towards clothes — he has a way of letting me know what works for him clothing-wise.
I tend to mix his clothing with labels I have purchased for years and combine them with brands that design adaptive clothing with kids like my child in mind. I really appreciate these brands, so a big thank you to the design teams!
Here are 5 brands that I shop for my Autistic son:
Target’s Cat & Jack Adaptive Clothing is Ideal For Autistic Kids
I first started purchasing Cat & Jack for my oldest, and like many parents, I love the creativity put into their pieces and the price. When shopping for my youngest son, I didn’t notice until sensory clothing was an issue that many of the Cat & Jack items we owned were adaptive and designed for my child in mind. Design features include flat seams, super-soft knits, and zipper closures. This year, my son wore his adaptive winter jacket and quickly zipped it up and down. Many autistic parents know that this is big when kids can do this. To find the adaptive clothing at Target, I type in ‘Cat& Jack Adaptive Clothing’ into the search bar.
See Kai Run for Fit, and Comfy Shoe Wearing Is Not Too Heavy for Sensory Sensitivities
Years ago, a fellow parenting editor told me that Velcro was a great mom hack for shoes when kids are young. Not having to tie laces helps you get out the door on a busy morning, and for your child, they learn to put on their shoes at a young age. For my child with Autism, Velcro tabs are key. My son loves the See Kai Run shoes for their fun prints and not so heavy soles that many sneakers tend to have because it looks cool. But for kids with Autism, a chunky sneaker style can be too heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Considerate design points in clothing for our ASD kids is essential and helps with their independence. On a recent morning, I walked in to find my boy putting his shoes on and closing the tabs, and that was it — I was done for the day — pure joy for this mom.
Kozie Clothes Adaptive Medical and Sensory Clothing
Many parents know that weighted blankets and sensory clothing can be significant benefits for a child with special needs. Kozie is founded by a mom of six who is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with a Certification in Sensory Integration, Sensory Enrichment Therapy, and SIPT testing, so this is a brand that ‘gets’ it and is worth adding to your child’s wardrobe. I personally love the Unisex Sensory Compression Pants, which are compression pants (deep touch pressure causes the release of both serotonin and dopamine in the brain) of a 4-way stretch fabric that my son can move freely in.
Hanna Anderson for Super Soft Clothing for Kids with Sensory Needs
I knew of Hanna Anderson before I was a parent, and it was a brand I often used for kids’ photoshoots. Now, as a mom to a child with Autism, I find this clothing line, founded in 1983 and based on Scandinavian principles, to be a staple in my child’s wardrobe. The clothing is super soft, which is vital for kids with sensory sensitivities. Lucky for me, my oldest son’s Hanna Anderson hand-me-downs are now used on my youngest, and I especially love the pajamas for their extra softness, long sleeves, and pants.
Appaman Adaptive Clothing – Brooklyn Style
This brand speaks to my little fashion heart. Already a cool line, Appaman also includes adaptive clothing for kids. A parent of a child with special needs can find clothing with closures at the ankle seams that allow pant legs to accommodate prosthetics, braces, Velcro brand closures at the shoulder, and seams that expand at the neckline for easy dressing. My favorite adaptive design is the interior loops that help for easy pull-up — great for your little ones to learn how to dress.
A sign that adaptive clothing is expanding to the lines adults love and wear. Vans Autism Acceptance campaign is featuring sensory-friendly footwear and apparel. Working with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, the line, which I hope expands, features calming color palettes in their classic beloved styles and ComfyCush technology. I am ready to let my youngest try a slip-on with the Autism Awareness Kids ComfyCush Slip-On PT that features a cushiony outsole and includes rubber outsoles which are great for durability and traction.