With the changing of seasons, and the transition back to school, we are hoping to share several blogs that will provide resources during a time of year we know can be both exciting and overwhelming for your kids and family.

Often we hear the struggles parents have in finding clothing that is comfortable for their child due to sensory struggles; pokey tags, uncomfortable buttons or other nuances that make getting dressed challenging. Many retailers have worked to better understand these struggles and work to creatively design sensory friendly clothing to allow fashion and function to meet the needs for kids with ASD and sensory issues.

While there is still a long way to go, a growing number of companies are producing adaptive clothing to ease challenges people with disabilities often face when getting dressed. We are excited to highlight some brands and companies who are taking major strides in bringing ease, comfort and style with a thoughtful design for kids and adults who may struggle with sensory issues.

Last year, Target became a champion of inclusivity when it expanded its children’s line, Cat and Jack, to include adaptive and sensory friendly clothing. Now the retailer is further expanding its efforts, offering apparel that serves these same purposes for adult women. Earlier this year, the retailer launched a size inclusive brand called Universal Thread, which includes adaptive jeans that have smooth creases to reduce pressure points, no back pockets and wider legs to lessen challenges when dressing and improve mobility.  Additionally, sensory friendly shirts are made with softer materials and have flat seams and no tags.

Online retailer ASOS recently garnered a tracksuit made specifically with wheelchair users in mind. Created in partnership with 21-year-old Chloe Ball-Hopkins, a BBC reporter and British Paralympian, the tie-dye waterproof ensemble has adjustable cuffs and zips around the waist, making it easier for people to take it on and off. Hopkins reached out to ASOS about creating adaptive apparel after a bad experience at a rainy music festival, where she knew she could not wheel in a poncho or easily use an umbrella.  ASOS immediately agreed to work with her, including her in the design process and featuring her as a model. 

PBS Kids and Zappos Adaptive have teamed up to create a collection that is playful and stylish while keeping things easy. This line helps empower children, encourage independence and promote creative expression.  The collection, which consists of reversible colorful t-shirts and lunge pants, has dissolvable tags and no buttons to ensure that nothing can be put on wrong.  The clothing comes with PBS Kids graphics, including dinosaurs, rainforests, oceans, and air travel.