Why Do Autistic People Wear The Same Clothes, Over and Over?
updated: 2/27/2020 (misspelling, grammer)
Have you ever wondered why people who have autism like to wear the same clothes, everyday? The easy answer, it feels good and we like the color. But, is there more to it? Of course, let's find out why autistic people and people with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) are always wearing the same clothes, "day in and day out".
I have read through the various threads and chat forums of concerning parents who are wondering why their autistic (ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder) kid wears the same shirt everyday. Other threads have autistic people explaining what their autism clothing issues are... Not sure why there are two separate forums for this topic, the parents could just ask the autistic people or people with SPD why they wear what they wear, but let's try and break it down in this article of, "Why Do Autistic People Wear The Same Clothes, Over and Over?"
Shopping For Autism: Colors and Texture
Shopping for or being an autistic person that shops for clothing comes down to two main priorities, what are the celebrities' wearing and how much is it? I am joking! For most neurotypical people ('normal'), shopping doesn't effect the mind and body as it does for those of us who are on the autistic spectrum. Forget about the lights, noise, other people, unwanted and bold smells… (the environment hardships and additional pains) we're talking strictly colors and textures.
Some would say that textures and autism is a 'touchy subject' (pun intended). I have met some autistic people who say they love the thickness of wool and big heavy hoodies and stay away from cotton and tight fitting clothes. On the other-hand, I am definitely one who can't stand wool or satin and prefer fine jersey cotton (occasionally added rayon) over any other material. I read on a forum a person who won't wear shirts that have sleeves. Autism treats each host differently, but even the guy walking around sleeveless and tight joggers has very specific reasons why that's, "the outfit".
It's unfortunate that autistics and people with SPD have and will be made fun of for wearing the same clothes everyday. Even though the parents (or themselves) are working hard to sneak into their kids bedroom to wash their clothes after midnight and put them back in the same place in their room so they'll be wearing clean clothes the following day. Starting in 6th grade, I had seven pairs of the same Adidas jogger pants, lucky all different in colors. This way I could wear "the same thing", but people wouldn't make fun assuming I was wearing dirty clothes.
One of the cons of being autistic and shopping for clothes is you have to touch items. After getting over the unsanitariness and dirty thoughts, you start feeling all these unwanted textures touching your skin receptors. This is the moment I start getting really stressed out and filled with anxiety.
Touching clothes (even saying it out loud) shouldn't be a method of torture, but it is for some autistic people or others with SPD. I'm not sure how to exactly explain it to those who don't understand. It's kind of like hearing nails being scratched across the chalkboard. When I touch a fabric or texture that I'm not in sync with, it affects my whole body and my brain feels like it's boiling, sending warning alerts all over my skin, like the nails on the chalkboard that cringe your ears. So, it's safe to say that if you find a fabric you like, you will be wearing it more often than other clothes.
Most people have a favorite color or the very least know a color that looks and feels good on them. For some autistic people, they won't even bother looking for a different color. This process eliminates a lot of various clothing options. I have an issue not eating anything that's the color green or blue, so I can imagine this crossovers towards people avoiding wearing certain colors as well. Some may think this is linked to a superstitious or OCD trait, but colors are often triggers for people on the spectrum.
Today, a lot of styles that are in stores now are seasonal displays. This projects a constant changing variable in the hunt for wearing acceptable clothing for autistics. On the offset that one of my family members buys me a Christmas shirt (as a joke) and I like it, people might find it to be strange wearing it in April. But, if we like it, we wear it… I read a comment in a thread about a kid who only wears his pajamas, all day and night. :)
Depending on the color priority, (example: it MUST be RGB: 215, 115, 87 .5) an autistic person will wear out their original clothes until that shirt is hanging on it's last thread before throwing it out and being forced into another color variation. But, why? …It all comes down to colors and textures and the overall feeling of being safe. This is my color and this is my fabric. As someone who takes deep breaths to calm down, some autistic people can look at colors with the same affect. In a world filled with stress and anxiety, who wouldn't want to feel more grounded and safe? It's a good feeling.
Alien Loud Autism Awareness Shirts
Alien Loud offers "Everyday Shirts" as a simply solution towards autistic people shopping for clothes. These are autistic friendly t-shirts that will never go out of season and never switch up the fabric or texture of these shirts. Feel free to wear the shirt down to the last thread or refill your daily shirt rotation with a new version of the shirt you love to wear without ever noticing a deference.
We don't offer too many colors around here and that's because we don't want to stress out people with options and having to search through a pile of variables. Alien Loud keeps it simple, but we also want to hear your ideas and concerns, please use our suggestions page to recommend a specific color of shirt or any other ideas you or someone else on spectrum could benefit from.
Everyday Shirts are made with 100% fine jersey ring-spun cotton. This basically means that they are a premium (higher-end) threaded cotton that is more durable and usually thinner which feels lighter than average "100% cotton" blends. With an "athletic" or more fitted style in guys (unisex) and a "boyfriend" style tee for female gender tees, these shirts make perfect gifts for family and friends (kids to adults).
Our "Compare Package" (limited time) is our way of comparing these to 100% cotton t-shirts. To understand how different they are, we'll gladly ship you two shirts. One of our premium music shirts and one of your average retail bought 100% cotton shirts. You will notice the difference instantly! Shop Alien Loud for autism awareness music t-shirts with aliens wearing headphones, free shipping for you and a friend!
Alien Loud celebrates autism awareness with premium music related t-shirts. Fresh "Everyday Shirts" for any occassion or take advantage of some limited tees with our more unique approach towards autism awareness with aliens wearing headphones.
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