Shopping for your child with special needs can be trying when searching for clothes that are durable, fit your child's individual physical needs, and will withstand the wear and tear of behavioral and other issues, while staying within your budget.
First, think about your child's physical needs. Take into consideration any adjustments that need to.be made for any physical disabilities your child may have. Many parents may already be adept at shortening pants' legs and the arms of shirts and sweaters.
There are also stores and businesses that specialize in adapted clothing designed to fit the physical needs of children with special needs, but these can be rather expensive for many families with more than one child in today's economy.
Also, when buying school clothes for your child with special needs think of issues related to hygiene if your child drools or mouths whitetails or other parts of his/her clothing. Consider durability as well if your child likes to rip or tear clothing. It may be worth it to spend extra money rather than having to replace cheaper quality shirts and tops.
Secondly, think of behavioral concerns that may affect clothing. Does your child engage in SIB (self-injurious behavior) that may leave blood-stains on clothes? Or are there occasional incidents of rectal digging and/or smearing excrement on clothing or shoes?
What about compulsive behaviors like pulling threads that might unravel a sweater or other types of clothing that might be destroyed by repeated picking and pulling. If your child wears diapers or Attends, has braces for his/her legs, back or neck, these necessary items may also cause wear and tear on clothing.
Thirdly, think about your child's personal preferences. If s/he likes a particular color or prefers a particular sports team, musical star, cartoon character, or movie, try to include clothing that incorporate those things in his/her school wardrobe.
Your child, if higher functioning, may also have style preferences based on current fashion trends. Some of these may not be age or developmentally appropriate and you may have some difficulty getting your child to understand why s/he can't wear pants sagging or show her midriff at school.
Be firm regarding styles or clothing that's totally inappropriate. But allow a little more flexible regarding clothes or styles that may be a little edgy, but not appropriate for the classroom. Offer to let your child wear a style made popular by a hip-hop or TV star on Halloween or to perform in a talent show or for the family.
Shopping for school clothes for your special needs child can be stressful, especially when you have several special needs to consider. Make sure you go shopping on a day when you have time to shop and can take your child along, if possible to participate in choosing his/her clothes for school.
Allow plenty of time, so you can take a break at Tim Horton's or Starbucks to have a cup of coffee, or if your child is with you visit a park or outdoor area to feed the birds if s/he has acted appropriately while shopping. You don't have to do it all in one day. Set aside several and visit more than one store to find the best bargains and quality.