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Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

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.

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By Jennie from Albany, NY

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November 30, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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?

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October 19, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

I realize this is an old thread but...A person can have sensory processing disorder without being on the spectrum, although it can be one of a number of spectrum characteristics. SPD is also more prevalent in those with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It is not attention seeking behavior and to treat it as such and reprimand or shame a child who has this disorder risks alienating a child already struggling.

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These kids have a visceral reaction and it's usually an ongoing issue, although it may get worse with increased anxiety. This post reminds me that we have a long way to go in recognizing and treating neurological and mental health issues in our children and stop treating them so dismissively.

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful
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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.

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Anonymous
January 6, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am in same scenario! I am seeing a specialist but in meantime Google clothing and sensory in same phrase... It is unbelievable! This is a sensory disorder! My daughter won't wear jeans or shirts or socks and I am looking for a new wardrobe and don't know where to go...

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She hates the seams in the shirts and in the crotch and so far I can only find seamless socks... All the sites I have googled encourage short sleeve shirts and sweats good luck!

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September 15, 20160 found this helpful
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When my daughter was 4 we had to turn the underwear inside out same with socks but the socks had to have color on the toe and heel. Still have the sock issues and it only took 8 stores this time to fine them. Underwear in ok now but now My daughter doesn't wear jeans, sweatpants or shorts. Once in a while a skirt put definitely not skorts. She will wear dresses but they can't have a line in the front or back. Also seamless pants are ok sometimes but I have to watch which ones I buy. As for the tops to go with the seamless pants they can only be short sleeves not spaghetti straps.

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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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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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November 30, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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Anonymous
November 30, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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November 30, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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February 2, 20140 found this helpful

No, do not fight with your gd order Hanna Anderrson undies. No tags, no labels, no seams and no wedgies. They are a bit pricey 3 prs for $15 but worth every penny. Her visitation daddy steals them (sends her home w/no panties) and her mommy just takes them and send her home in boy unders from Walmart. The girl loves them.

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August 28, 20160 found this helpful

Try SmartKnitKIDS - they have been a lifesaver for many.

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January 25, 20170 found this helpful

This dilemma is more common than you may think. Ask your doctor to check for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), also known as sensory integration dysfunction. It sounds like she has all the symptoms.

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April 5, 20170 found this helpful

My daughter is nearly 8 and so very bright and she has a similar problem. She restricts herself to only a couple of acceptable items of clothing and wears them until they are far too small. She refuses to wear any pants / trousers, long sleeves, singlets, skirts, shorts or tights. She sometimes finds it helpful to remember that it only feels uncomfortable for a few minutes, then your body gets used to the clothes and you don't notice them anymore. Sometimes it helps to put them in the dryer. Sometimes we say, just wear your dressing gown until it's time to go, them quickly put on your uniform. This enables her to get all her other tasks done by avoiding the a stumbling block. She is often more reasonable once she has eaten. Once we took her to kindergarten in her pyjamas and changed her when we got there. Lately she has been refusing all fruits and some vegetables too. I think it's a sensory processing disorder but don't know where to get help.

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October 21, 20170 found this helpful

I have a brother that is naked for about I don't know years. I think 8 years or more. We are not rich, my sister and I barely pay our tuitions in our school and my parents are still paying our house which is the reason we can't afford to go to a specialist to help him. When I was young, maybe more than 15 years ago, he was still schooling. My tuition before as a young preschooler is not too much and my father's uncle let us live in their house for free so we can still afford to bring him to school and have his therapy. Since we are in a Manila, we are able to bring him in a nice school but one day the daughter of my father's uncle kick us out to her parents house claiming it was already named to hers. Since my mother is mad and seems offended she purchase a house in installment for 20 years, it is far in our previous house, it's in the province. My parents search for our school first then after we are enrolled they search for a school for our brother. In the first week in our new house my brother is always crying, get his bag and pulling us to leave our house. We have a neighbour with a down syndrome and every night he will knock at our house telling to shut my brothers mouth. His new school is far 2 hours in bus. He loves riding in any vehicles. Sometimes he doesn't want to leave the bus. My mother is just saying sorry to the driver and the passengers so they won't get mad. I remember one time I bad mouth a passenger for cursing my brother, I know it's wrong but I wishcshe would have a son like my brother in the future so if someone cursed her son she would know the feeling. My mother scold me for that but Ifelt like a hero for a moment. When he goes to school he will just eat his snacks and lunch, he hates doing school things like the puzzles and coins but he loves his therapy sessions. As time passed by, my younger sister have to go to school to and my tuition is getting expensive. My mother tries to search for a near school for my brother so they didn't have to commute so far and his school is so expensive than his previous school. She is searching for a school that has the same price as his previous school. Then our neighbour told us there is a government school for special needs in the "bayan". They enrolled my brother in that school. It has no therapist so we still have to bring him far at least once or twice a week. My mother started to questioned the lates school. Why is my brotherbis in the same room with slow learners, down syndrome and other different cases? They should be in different rooms so they could be treated differently, depending on their needs. He seems happy though from his new classmates. Then 8 years ago from today, he become short tempered. We are in a hot country, he removes his upper clothes. It was quite common here to see a guy without shirts so we didn't make it such a big deal. Then later on he removes his pants. We tried to buy shorts for him but he still remove it after a while. Then he starts not to wear anything. Good thing is if we said that we are going outside, he still wear clothes. So we tried to just buy him new formal and casual clothes that looks like he is always going outside. He seems to know our trick so he even refuse to wear even going outside. Until he really refused to go outside. He is just wearing shoes. Until he hates wearing shoes toeven slippers. We think maybe because it is too hot. We are all girls so we can't do anything physically. Every other day we tried to guve him clothes which he ends up putting in the water. We never give up. Our father, an OFW, when he got home after a year he makes him wear clothes. I remember him crying qearing his new clothes. After he wears clothes they try to go out to ask for help to a doctor but he hates going out, now. Since we can't make him wear his clothes for how many months we can't make him leave our house. Home check up is so expensive, we can't afford it. My father can go back in his work because of medical issues so we have no income for a year. I remember eating rice and salt just to have something in our stomach. When my father got back to his work, webare left with too many debts that we already forgotbmy brothers condition. Now it's just common to us to see him naked. Just lately, I started to think was there still a chance to make him wear his clothes. I start researching and see different forums but i haven't read a condition like my brother who give up wearing clothes for 8 years. He is 22 now and taller & stronger than we are. When we tried to bring clothes for him, he either wet it with water, his pee or put his poop in it. It was too messy that now we don't even hand any clothes even curtains, pilows and same things to him. Even his bed, he pee on it so we change it to wood. When he is asleep we put him blanket just before he wakes up, we remove it to prevent chaos. My parents seems not making it an issue but they prohibit us to bring friends who doesn't know my brother's condition. I'm not proud to have a brother like him but I am very open to my friends about his condition specially whencthey ask us to bring them to our house. I always tell to myself after I graduate and have a nice job with high income I will do my best to make him wear his clothes and travel with him. But I think I should wait for about 5 years. He would be old that time so I'm doing my best to research for alternative solutions aside from having a money for check ups and therapies which we couldn't afford yet. I love him so much. I even got to principal's office for hitting my classmate who told everyone that my brother is mentally retarded. If anyone of you knows an answer for our problem, it would be a great help. Thank you and God bless.

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Anonymous
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Sounds like she's a "sensitive child", there are books to help with insight into this area. My son (now 23yrs old) was and still is sensitive. Labels had to be cut out of clothing, seams on all clothing had to be checked for roughness. Seamless socks had to be found (not easy) or worn inside out to get relief and be able to function without distraction. It may seem trivial to the average person but living thru the eyes of a sensitive opens up new ways to look at they are able to function and thrive. The texture of foods will effect a sensitive and what they will eat. Using detergent w/o perfumes such as A&H sensitive skin before wearing new clothes, switching to white vinegar for your laundry softener. Minimizing the chemicals in your home she's exposed to.... So it's an area I would encourage you to explore and not be so quick to judge her. I would also encourage you to purchase a full-spectrum lamp which will help with her "sad". Wishing you the best....

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