My 8 year old, very bright grand-daughter who reads at a 13 year old level, plays guitar and violin, and has played soccer, will no longer wear "any" pants, skirts or socks in the past month. The doctors say she has anxiety and to put her in comfy clothes and send her to school. But absolutely "no" clothes are comfy for her. She eats a variety of foods and changes of detergents have no result. She cannot go to school and is very sad; she can't go to OT or therapy as she will not keep clothes on.
By Jennie from Albany, NY
I think the problem might be the hem and labels in clothes. They make them itch, feel like spinter's. I have a 22 yr old that started months ago, first started taking the hem out of socks, then & still take the hem out of the bottom of pants & shirts. I read alot of blogs written by autistic adults that all mentioned they don't like hems & labels in their clothes. Hope this helps.
This child is seeing a counselor; was tested for any autistic or aspergers syndroms; she should not be spanked for having a serious problem that she cannot control and is making her very sad. Therapist says there are some sensory issues besides emotional problems; but, since she is so bright and wants to get better, that the prognosis, though long and arduous, is good.
I am training to be a special needs teacher and I think your granddaughter should have some psychological testing. Her school should be able to do it free of charge at home or school. She may have some sort of disability such as being on the autism spectrum or even an allergy; allergies with children sometimes have different symptoms. Good luck.
If she were my granddaughter, I'd give her a spanking. This may be enough to convince her she needs the covering for padding! If this didn't work I'd take her to a therapist.You are the boss and she should be made to do what you tell her to do. If I took off my pants and paraded around in front of my granddaughters, that would be enough to convince them the true reason people wear pants!
By vicki hood11/30/2010
Probably a trauma that needs a therapist doctor not a GP. For such a quick change in this bright little girl, something hurt her or scared her and she needs someone who can get her to talk without fear. Sometimes that is not a Mom or Dad. She could also be under threat.
It sounds to me like she needs to see a specialist as soon as possible. It could be something as simple as her way of control or it also could be something traumatic has happened to her if it's not physiological. I know this sounds mean but if she won't keep or put her clothes on take her to a specialist naked and just keep a blanket with you for modesty sake. I know that sounds mean but it's more mean and harmful to not do something about solving this problem.
By merlene smith11/30/2010
What type of doctor is saying this? She is seeing a doctor that specializes in anxiety (emotional) conditions. She may need to see a specialist if she isn't currently doing so. Best wishes for her.
By Linda L.11/30/2010
You mention therapy and OT-does this child have autistic spectrum disorder or other special needs? If so, she may have a sensory integration issue and a skilled teacher or therapist can help with a program for her. If she is not a special needs child why can she not understand that if she refuses to wear clothes she is choosing to not be able to go to school, therapy, etc. Remind her that she can go to school, etc with all the kids when she chooses to dress like all the kids do. It sounds like there is something else going on and a psychologist/therapist is needed. She can probably go in her PJs if necessary. Is the refusal to wear clothes an attention getting behavior?
Can't she be made to leave the clothes on to take her out? One of my grandkids got sent to school in their pjs one time because they refused to get dressed for school, their clothes got sent with them. Their Mother called the school and let them know what was going on. After that the kid always got dressed because some of the other kids had teased them about wearing their pjs to school. It worked.
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My 7 year old granddaughter won't wear underwear. Mother has tried all types, she goes hysterical and breaks out in blotches on her face. Not only that she does not wear socks, dungarees, or tight pants.
Has anyone ever heard of this, and if so please advise how you dealt with the problem.
By Ann from Tyngsboro, MA
Tactile defensiveness is a sensory integration problem. Kids who have it may be unable to tolerate certain sensations, or may crave exaggerated sensations. They might hate being touched unless they initiate it. They might have certain other behavior problems that puzzle their parents and teachers. People might say they are too fussy, or that they cause trouble. You can look sensory integration and tactile defensiveness up on-line. One good site is for The Out-of-Sync Child.
All the clothes you list are very common agitators for some people. Elastic waist bands or cuffs. Form fitting socks, or loose socks that might bunch up and wrinkle. Stiff materials, rough materials. These things might not feel rough or tight to us, but they feel just horrible to her, and there is just no way for her to ignore it. If she is forced to wear it, she might stop complaining about it, but she might be fidgety and cranky and unable to focus that day because it bothers her so much.
If she is tactilly defensive, she needs some help. It's not something her mom or anyone else "should" have known. I know about it because of my education, training, and profession, and also because my grandson has a sensory integrative disorder. He is a bright, happy, wonderful 3-year old, but there are some real issues for him. Luckily, there are things that can be done to help.
If she doesn't have this problem, then adjustments just need to be made. Heck, nothing wrong with personal preference. No guilt for the little sweetie! The underwear problem might be from the elastic, so it will be tough. I don't know of any that don't use elastic. It sounds like the rest will be easier. Loose, soft clothing might be the key. Also changing detergent/fabric softener might help.
Sorry I wrote such a long response. Hope it was helpful! (05/20/2010)
As an adoptive mom, my kids had these issues along with the FAS and probably AS (aspergers). We did brushing and compressions and it helped.
Did she wear training panties? if so what is different? Softer? Elastic covered? Baggier? Tighter? Material, etc.
If she wore new underwear with tags it will feel like someone is cutting into her. The sizing in new clothes can take more than one washing to get out, another reason yard sales are best.
Hand me downs worked best, no tags. New clothes take a long time to get to the point of comfortable, lots of screaming and problems, avoid the hassles yard sales are your friend.
If you sew consider trying to make underwear (use bathing suit pattern). Try flannel or recycled t-shirt material. Try various types of elastic, there is a wide lacy type elastic that distributes the pressure vs just in one area. If they have a sensitivity to the elastic itself put in a casing (I can't wear most bras, I break out in red rash, and if I wear long enough it turns into blisters).
In the old days there was underwear similar to the new style boxers that were like shorts (no leg elastic).
My third son would only wear sweats, t-shirts from yard sales because the necks were stretched out. My second son always had to have a t-shirt under long flannel shirts (we are in Maine) because they moved and touched skin at different places. My girlfriend's dear daughter will only wear capri type tights, no jeans, or sweats if they touch her ankles (has to be pant cut not elastic). (05/21/2010)
By Teresa Kay
He is now 22 and in his final year at a great college. He turned out to be a very smart kid and got a free ride to college. He met a wonderful girl who loves him despite the fact that she can't wear earrings around him. I am so proud of him. Don't worry. Sorry so long. (05/21/2010)
By TC in MO
I have a 7 year old granddaughter who will not wear underwear or anything she feels is too tight. We've tried everything from larger sizes to trying every style of undies for children. She needs to stretch everything before she puts it on. Aside from being unclean, we have no idea how to handle this problem? Any suggestions?
By Ann from Tyngsboro, MA
By Patty Lynn
My 5 year old granddaughter will not wear underwear. She has difficulty with different clothing and cries like crazy if she has to wear socks. She will only wear crocks with the material attached to the inside. Any suggestions?
By Stella from Regina, Saskatchewan
By Patty Lynn
She's been avoiding both socks and underwear for almost a year, but her not wearing underwear only really became an issue this fall. After I had given in and agreed that she did not have to wear socks with her shoes if she did not want to, she started dressing herself for kindergarten everyday and seemed to be doing very good. However, apparently she was not wearing underwear to school for almost 3 months before I found out.
When I first started making her wear underwear to school last month, I found out that she was going to the girls' room and taking her underwear off and putting her pants or dress back on without underwear and go back to class. I've tried to talk to her about why she needs to wear underwear, but nothing seems to work. She claims to "not like the way it feels" but she doesn't seems to mind wearing all manner of pants from jeans to soccer shorts to dresses without underwear. So, I'm not so sure.
One of my friends said her daughter was the same way between 5 to 9 years old and was always playing games not wanting to wear underwear. She said that after she couldn't take it anymore, she eventually decided to let her daughter not wear underwear at all and started taking both her daughter's socks and underwear from her drawer and told her that she could only have them when she was a big girl and decided to ask for them. I guess it was reverse psychology, but for over a year she wouldn't let her then 9 year old daughter have underwear even when she begged for it. Needless to say, she and I disagreed about her parenting method; but I was surprised that it kind of worked.
She told her daughter that she'd be allowed to wear underwear when she turned 10 years old, if she behaved herself for the rest of the year. Apparently it worked somewhat and her daughter both acted better and now agrees to wear underwear at least two days almost every week.
I don't want to find myself having to fight with my daughter over underwear for another 5 years. After my daughter's kindergarten teacher asked me last week why she hasn't been wearing underwear to class, I decided to to set up a meeting with the elementary school counselor after the holidays to discuss what they'd recommend. I can't afford a private psychiatrist out of pocket and don't have adequate health insurance to cover it; so the school counselor is our best bet.
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