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I love elastic waist pants. And, yes, I have been putting on a few kilos recently but this post isn’t actually about me and my growing love of them (or my growing girth either!)
I was inspired to write this after a recent visit to my local Aldi store. They currently have a range of kids clothes for sale and I found myself randomly looking through them after heading there to buy much needed dog food.
I always come out of Aldi with extra items – don’t you too?
Anyway, one of the items I bought was a pair of elastic waist pants for Gilbert. I loved the fact they look like normal cargo pants but they have an elastic waist, very much like tracksuit pants.
Aldi elastic waist pants: clothing & sensory needs - www.myhometruths.com
You might still be wondering why finding these pair of pants made me so happy. After all, they are faux cargo pants, with a tracksuit type elastic waist, from a budget supermarket.
Seriously, what’s there to celebrate?
Well, they are the perfect pants for my son, who can’t stand the feeling of metal zips, buttons or press studs around his waist. He usually lives in tracksuit pants in the cooler months for comfort. However, we struggle to get him into more formal pants for special occasions because of his sensory needs.
These pants, that look acceptable to wear out but still promise comfort for my son, are the holy grail of pants for him. I never thought we’d ever find anything like them. They completely meet his sensory needs.
In fact, I later returned and bought a couple more pairs for next year!
Extra elastic waist pants for next year: sensory needs & clothing - www.myhometruths.com
This small win highlights the struggle that many special needs parents face when it comes to sensory needs & clothing for their kids. It’s not easy to buy clothes for individuals who struggle to process the most minute sensory input from their surroundings.
Imagine wearing a scratchy jumper. Imagine feeling itchy and irritated around your neck, on your wrists, around your waist and maybe even along your back as you stretched and moved. Imagine having to deal with that for an entire day as it was cold and you didn’t have an alternate jumper to wear.
Imagine how distracting it would be. Imagine how hard it would be to concentrate on anything other than the constant irritation of that jumper on your skin. Can you imagine how irritated, frustrated and over it all you’d feel after only a little while, let alone the entire day?
That’s a small insight into the everyday lives of kids with sensory processing difficulties. Except, it’s not just one day of the year for them (you’d get rid of that jumper as soon as you could, wouldn’t you?)
No, this is their reality, every minute of every day.
SENSORY NEEDS & CLOTHING - www.myhometruths.com
It’s easy for you and me to filter out most distracting sensory input as our brains are wired to only bring notice to the most important sensations. So we only notice loud sounds, strong smells, bitter tastes, bright glare, sharp sensations, big jolts and hard slaps. We ignore pretty much everything else going on around us because our brains are wired to filter them out.
For kids with sensory processing difficulties, their filter does not work in the same way, which means they can sometimes be bombarded with everything going on around them. They may be conscious of all the sensations coming into contact with them, not just the most important. Which means they are easily distracted and overwhelmed by the sensations of everyday life. It’s no surprise they may become distressed and upset easily.
For others, their filter works too well and they are unaware of all the sensations that come their way. These kids might want to create noise, move their fingers in front of their eyes, smell random objects, touch everything, chew on their clothes, climb everywhere or jump on the lounge. This is their way of getting the sensory input they crave, yet are missing.
Either way, you can imagine how hard it would be to live in this way. It’s what my kids, and many others deal with most days. Hence an entire post about elastic waist pants from Aldi!
Aldi elastic waist pants close up: clothing & sensory needs - www.myhometruths.com
When I can help my kids with their sensory needs, I get excited. That’s why I love fidget toys and earmuffs and squishy balls. It’s why I brush my daughter most nights in bed and lay on my son to give him the deep pressure he craves.
It’s why I pack a sensory lunchbox for my son and encourage my daughter to wear chewy jewellery under her school uniform. It’s why my husband plays rough with Gilbert most nights to help settle him down and why Matilda listens to a therapeutic listening program before bed.
It’s why I also scoured the Bunnings website to unearth over 40 sensory hacks to meet our kids’ needs.
We do all of this to help them better cope with the overwhelming world around them.
I don’t want them to live in a constant state of anxiety, distraction, fear and sensitivity.
I want them to have a chance at a full, happy and meaningful life.
Hopefully these strategies (including elastic waist pants!) will help them achieve that.

How do you help your kids with their sensory needs?

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