It is “Back to School” time. Whether you are dreading it or counting the days, it is here. I have to admit in the past I haven’t been excited about my daughter going “Back to School”. When you have a child with a complex disorder, the start of the school year can be daunting. Is she in the right program? Is he at the right school? Will they be included? The list goes on. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to instill a sense of fun and excitement when starting a new year of school. I wanted to focus on what she wanted. How can my daughter know that her opinion matters? I realized it was so simple, by making fashion choices for herself. Even though she has Rett Syndrome, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her own sense of style.
My daughter doesn’t grow much from year to year, but her style definitely changes. So now we look forward to a wardrobe upgrade at the beginning of the year. Last year I discovered she really loves to dress in black. Black rock-star looking t-shirts. This past week, her and I sat down with my computer and her Tobii eyegaze computer and did some online shopping. She reiterated she likes sporty and rockstar. Basically, she wants to be Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls. Obviously, appropriately dressed Sporty Spice.
Now that I know her style, its my job to help her find clothes that work for her. In the past, she has worn mostly leggings and tops. Its rare to find her in a dress. Her daily activities don’t just include school, she has therapy ranging from Occupational therapy, Physical therapy to Speech therapy, throughout the day as well. Mostly we have made clothes work for her. This year, more and more stores are becoming inclusive and are catering to those with different abilities.
Adapted Clothing lines are popping up at some of the most convenient, affordable and still trendy places. Target’s Cat and Jack line now has adapted clothing, with most of Target’s line focusing on younger kids. Kohl’s just announced their adapted clothing, which edges into the teen and young adult market. Land’s End is specializing in adapted school uniforms. Tommy Hilfiger’s classic look has a variety for all ages.
There are so many reasons for adapted clothing from sensory to ability. Adapting clothes in a variety of ways Magnetic or Velcro closures, Adjustable hems, adjustable waist, easy open necklines, easy-back openings, side seam openings, and wide –leg openings.
Having a complex disorder doesn’t mean you necessarily need adapted clothing, but its great to know that its available. Make sure to tag #GirlPower2Cure #RiseAboveRett in those #Back2School pictures. We love to see those personalities shine through.
Here are some resources for shopping for adapted clothing (click on the image to go to their product line):