Adaptive Clothing for Children with Special Needs

Cerebral Palsy, Adaptive Clothing, special needs

Getting children to school on time can be a real stressor. When you have a child with special needs helping them get ready can even be more time consuming. Adaptive clothing can make things easier on everyone. Not only by allowing for quicker dress time but also some adaptive clothing with helpful add-ins for aiding those with special needs. Simple clothing changes allow individuals to be more independent while raising their self-esteem and confidence.


Temperature control clothing is a great option for children with sensory processing disorder (SPD). Children with SPD often deal with conflicts on how their body reacts to external stimulus. Which often means a fluctuating body temperature can become an issue. This is where adaptive clothing can help. The fabric regulates the body temperature allowing for less annoyance. It also conserves metabolic energy by decreasing temperature swings. Compression tops are great for children with autism, adhd or add, sensory processing and other neurological challenges. The clothing provides deep pressure helping children stay calm and focused. Shirts with magnets and buttons are great adaptations for clothing. Ones with buttons on the back make taking off tops easier for children who have trouble raising their arms over their heads to get clothing items off. Magnets replace buttons allowing for easier workability for those with troubles in fine motor skills.

There is a wide range of choices when it comes to finding bottoms that work the best for you and your child. Pants can be found that offer a wrap waist or full side-zips. These can be easier to work with for a child that uses a wheelchair. Elastic waist bottoms are also a great alternative allowing for the minimal hassle. Zippers that run from the top of the pant to the bottom of the leg are also easily manageable.


Does your child have a hard time putting on their shoes? Try a pair that has zippers instead of laces. Finding shoes that have velcro instead of laces allow for quick changing when heading in and out the door. Shoes that are also built wider can be better fitted for children who have to wear braces for their legs and feet. If your child has leg and foot braces, shoes are now being made with a tilt rear opening that allows the user to open the back of their shoe.


Designers have becoming more aware of the need for more options to be available on the market for families with special needs children. The well-known American designer, Tommy Hilfiger, has designed a line of adaptive clothing for children last year. The designer has two children who have autism so understands the issue completely. The 22-peice line looks exactly like the designer’s normal line of clothing so children can remain fashionable while gaining independence. The clothing has faux buttons that give the appearance that it is no different from a normal shirt, but invisible to a passerby magnets are used underneath to close the shirt.The line is priced the same as the designer’s other lines. 

Adaptive clothing can make things easier on everyone. By aiding in quicker dress time and helping them remain on task at school. Plus, with the help of some designers your child’s fashion sense doesn’t have to suffer. The main goal of adaptive clothing is to help individuals gain independence and control. By doing some research and experimenting with different clothing options you can find the perfect fit for you and your child. Just so you know,we are not endorsed by the brands listed above in any way. We are only using them as examples for the different types of adaptive clothing available.

If your child was recently diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, contact our care team today. We offer a wide variety of resources that can help you and your loved one. Call us today at 800-692-4453 to speak with a representative.