The Girl Who Went Naked For A Month: A True Sensory Disorder Tale

Hillary Frank is a busy mom who, in her spare time, blogs about life with an infant and interviews other moms (and dads) about the “surprising struggles of early parenthood.” A while back Frank, a longtime radio producer based in Montclair, NJ, got this pitch from another mother, Joyce Slaton, who wanted to tell her story:

“Joyce just basically told me that she had a toddler who went naked for an entire month and during that time they never left the house,” Frank writes on her blog, The Longest Shortest Time. “I had to know more. Wouldn’t you?”

That’s how “The Emperor’s New Onesie” — the video — was born; a multimedia collaboration between Frank and Rekha Murthy, a former radio producer now at PRX who received a small grant from the Knight Foundation to develop an existing public radio piece into a video.

It’s the poignant and somewhat disturbing tale of Violet, a 15-month old who obliterates her clothes-loving mother’s fantasy of  a “fancy vintage baby” adorned in butter-yellow blouses, cute tops embroidered with puppies and striped jumpers with matching frilly panties. Instead, Violet suffers from a sensory processing disorder, which compels her to pluck and tear at all those pretty, hand-sewn blouses and skirts in agony “like she was being electrocuted,” according to her mother. Ultimately, Violet refuses clothes altogether — for a month.

The piece, which you should watch immediately, is beautifully illustrated with paper-doll cut-outs by Jen Corace and clever animation by Joe Posner (notably, a sequence with brightly-wrapped candies raining from the sky). Murthy, writing today on the Knight Foundation blog, says she was drawn to “Onesie” because it resonated with with her personally:

“By the time I found The Longest Shortest Time, I was expecting my first child. I had been dodging most of the annoying mommy media out there, full of whitewashed, rigid, and oversimplified characterizations of what’s an incredibly complex experience. LST felt like an antidote.” She adds this: “My baby Asha is 6 months old now, and when she protests while I dress her I immediately think of Violet. My next thought is that Violet’s story has fanned my new-parent paranoia, yet I still feel the need to comfort myself by thinking that if, in the unlikely event that it is a sensory disorder, thanks to the power of storytelling I’d recognize it and know what to do.”

From “The Emperor’s New Onesie” by Hillary Frank

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation defines the condition as one in which “sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses.” A 2009 study by the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group suggests that “1 in every 6 children experiences sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to affect aspects of everyday life functions.”

Readers, are any of you dealing with this? What works? What doesn’t? Please let us know.

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  • mommasangel

    I can totally relate to this story. I’m sure the “barbie” comment was not meant literally but when you have a little girl most moms enjoy buying pretty little dresses and matching headbands. When you realize later that these things aren’t what your child is comfortable in, it becomes irrelevant. My daughter is 7. She has always hated pants, shorts, leggings, tights…anything on her legs. At 3 and 4 years old, we just thought she was a girly-girl. When cold winters would come and she would scream to have pants on, or long sleeves, jackets or any type of layers we learned it was a lilttle more than just being girly-girl. Unfortunately, it took a few years to figure out what to do about it and how to handle. She was diagnosed at 5 from an OT, but the recommended skin brushing tecqnique was not successful for her. We struggled through kindergarten wearing the same dress to school for days in a row, a pink skirt from Old Navy that was hanglng on by threads…no pants or leggings on cold days – only bare legs with ballerina type flats, because she can’t wear socks or sneakers. On pajama day in first grade we realized we needed to find another OT and take some action to help her. She doesn’t wear pajamas…sleeps naked, we shopped for several Pj’s so she could participate on their class pj day. After an hour of trying to wear the PJs we bought the night before…(after trying on 11 different ones,) she couldn’t do it and wore the same outfit from the day before…a short sleeve shirt and skirt with bare legs (in December). After an hour of screaming, crying and rolling around on the floor trying to deal with the long sleeves and long pants,we sat on the bed and hugged as she cried asking why God made her this way and why can’t she be “normal”. She wanted to wear those pj’s , but she couldn’t do it. When I walked her into class that day (an hour 1/2 late) all the kids had their Pj’s on and I could see by the look on her face was sadness. At that point, we found an amazing OT and have been consistenly treating for one year in December. She has made great progress this school year. She still sleeps naked, plays naked , eats breakfast naked, and can’t stand to wear socks, sneakers, jeans or pants, She is wearing a jacket, a variety of skirts and tops and even this week jean shorts. This disorder is serious and I hope that those that comment can appreciate the seriousness or not comment at all. Not only does SPD effect how my daughter feels in her own skin, but it also triggers anxiety and depression which we treat by seeing a pediatric psychiatrist. I only hope that more awareness for SPD will educate more people that have the idea that these children are just trying to control parents, and help bring awareness to schools and healthcare providers.

  • Karen Courtney

    hello, I was born with Sensory Processing Disorder in 1957 but not properly diagnosed til I was 46 years old. When I was younger about 5 years old I could not stand the feel of clothes on my body, my mom said she was going to send me to a nudist colony.when I was 13 years old. All the clothes felt too tight. Now here I am 55 years old and I have severe texture issues. All my clothes has to be loose, no inner seams,socks get turned inside out. And everything has to be very very soft or I can’t touch it. My senses are Extremely sensitive.. I was also born with a learning disability that was never diagnosed til 2005, until 2011, finding out I have ADHD,Major Anxiety, dyslexia, Central auditory processing disorder, Autism and Asbergers. Everyday live is a huge struggle for me.

  • Ann McNattin

    I have to wonder if the clothing might not have been less an issue if this mom had come to early parenting with fewer expectations of her child. Mom had a vision for her daughter that that daughter clearly didn’t share. Mom wanted a vintage baby; Violet didn’t want to be a vintage baby. I’m not advocating against a diagnosis of SPD (which I as an adult still deal with in myself), but this power struggle seems totally unnecessary to me. Kids need to express themselves. They are NOT always who we want them to be. It is our job as parents to celebrate the process of getting to know who they are, rather than trying to make them into something that we have envisioned — and that may be totally alien to the child’s own voice. It seems to me that a child learns a very early personal empowerment lesson if allowed to choose her own clothing; and learns an early lesson in shame if that autonomy is denied her. Clothing choices need to be seasonally appropriate, of course, but who cares if she matches? who cares if she looks outrageous to a fashion maven’s eye? The child will look beautiful to herself, and really, what else matters?

  • Beth

    My now 20 year old son was the first child to be asked to leave a day care center because he was uncooperative and biting other children. Fortunately our friend who is a PT went to observe him at the day care and learned that he only bit kids when forced to sit on a bench to wait for his turn to go to the bathroom- all in a noisey echo-y hallway. He was completely overwhelmed. We moved him to a quiet private daycare home. I then drove 6 hours a day – 3 days a week for the entire summer to go to a city where people were trained in helping children with sensory disorders. We had no hlep in our town – no one believed us despite the professional diagnosis, including one from a psychiatrist.
    At home he would be so stressed, exhuasted and anxious when he arrived home from school that he would sometimes attack his Dad ( a big guy who could handle it). We did not realize how severe this disorder was and how horribly it was affecting him. We were trained to help him and how to handle it – but it took a huge toll on our other child and us.
    This disorder was not acepted by the local public school system and we battled our way through the only available school in our rural area . It was a nightmare if he had a teacher who refused to work with him/us and rejected his diagnosis. He was picked on because he would easily overreact. In third grade I went in to observe the class. i found one little girl who poked her finger into him everytime she was near him because he would react which caused a disturbance. The list goes on and on. We got him OT and PT at school by contacting a Chicago Lawyer but again – some teachers cooperated some ignored it all and he did poorly in their classrooms. Some principals were wonderful and others we had to threaten with lawsuits. By his senior year we worked it out to let him finish on-line classes. He now hates school and refuses to go to college. His last week of school he was presented on honors night as having acheived an almost perfect score on the ACT. If we were rich parents I would have sent him to a special boarding school – but we could not afford the $40,000 tuition. We did not move because of our jobs and our other child was doing well. In hindsight – we should have worked harder to have moved away because the constant stress while he was in school really hurt our son and our family. I hope that by posting our story that other parents will look at the bigger picture and look to see how the disorder is affecting the entire family. When you are living in a household with someone with this disorder you are changing and adapting to meet their needs. After awhile you do not realize how much you have overly adapted. It really affected his sibling in many negative ways that we did not see – this is not unusual when you have a special needs child. My son still wears baggy soft clothes, hates crowds, avoids anyplace “loud” including concerts, plays video games , has immature social skills, always has his ipod with him and always wears the earbuds ( this is now socailly acceptable). He attends a church where it is small, quiet and there is intellectual discussion with adults. We are hoping that as he further matures he will figure out how to make his way into the world and get some job training. For now he does chores and odd jobs. He refuses to get a driver’s license. I now wonder how many people with this disorder end up in violent confrontations and in jail. When the world hurts and no one gets that it is hurtful to you- how do you cope? We worked very hard to be our son’s safe place – he is empathetic when our adult friend’s are ill and has even gone to help them. He checks on me to make sure I am okay and sits down to dinner and we have wonderful conversations. He has a first girlfriend ( as geeky and smart as him) and treats her kindly with respect and even made dinner for her last night!
    We see good growth and hope for more.

  • Angel mom

    My special needs daughter also has sensory processing issues, and will sometimes rub her fingers and toes against rough surfaces until they bleed. If you try to cover them with anything (such as bandaids) she will literally tear them off with her teeth. Her OT suggested a brushing technique to help organize and improve her sensory processing and it has helped, but she still reverts back when she’s tired.

  • AA91

    First of all, most anything intricately pretty, especially with embroidery or ruffles, IS uncomfortable. Trendy styles usually are not the comfortable items of clothing. I was sensitive and still am to clothing. I don’t even like to wear rings, and if I do, I take them off immediately when I come home. My son, now six, had/has this same issue with anything that has embroidery, buttons, seems, etc. It’s a hyper awareness, and isn’t something that is bad, but it should be respected and dealt with accordingly. Parents who like the latest fashions and want to make their kids little fashion models, or think they’ll dress-up their children in retro-styles, are completely missing the larger picture and imposing their own expectations on to their children, and turning the matter into a personal battle. Kids do pick up on this stress. It will spiral into an undesirable situation.

  • Kirsten Hanson

    I have a beautiful 10 year old who has Sensory Processing Disorder and I can relate to the story. When she started preschool, my husband would take her in every morning…he would wrestle her into an outfit, she would remove the outfit in the car, and then he would wrestle her back into the outfit when they got to school. Sometimes, he would just carry her into the classroom with the outfit in his hand, and hand over the mostly naked child and the outfit! It was during this time we finally meet a wonderful OT who knew exactly what our daughter was struggling with, and she has made amazing progress since then. But I absolutely love this story, and that this information is getting out there! Thank you for sharing!!!

  • G. Jones

    Parenting is fun, but open-ended. I use logic, empathy when providing child-care but I am the adult in the interaction. This is often my request in my ‘quirky’ family: Can you pretend to be ‘normal’ for 2 hours– then you may lock yourself in your room. If I am late for my job, or if my child misses the school-bus–because we were arguing(parenting) then I come with logical consequences (pay for gas money to drive to school…). As an adult, I remember to take 6 deep breaths when I have sensory problems ( before jumping into a swimming pool, getting out of the car on hot/cold days..).

  • josteponmulehair

    My son is a teenager and still struggles with this. He has only recently been able to wear a shirt with buttons. He wears girls socks, and only sneakers on his feet. Also the neck of his shirts bother him and so he puts them into his mouth and chews-every shirt-all day. His other senses are ultrasensitive as well. He can only drink milk from a glass container, can taste the plastic or cardboard. Soda feels like a porcupine. Can only eat very bland foods. The same meal every night for dinner for more than a decade. And he can never eat in a cafateria, (and so no lunch ever at school) too many smells, too much noise. I am sometimes patient, sometimes not so much. Thanks for this video. It made me cry.

  • emaboogie

    I am not a mother but I too was a sensitive child and now a sensitive adult. I only wore a pair of plaid pants for a month whe I was three. I can’t drink orange juice without itching to this day. My mom bought goats milk for me because I couldn’t drink anything else. Jewerly is a no no. My beautiful wedding ring sits on my dresser until I have a nice party to go to. The more organic and natural I am the better I feel.

  • Christine Chady

    What worked for my daughter’s SPD? Occupational Therapy (OT) and the Feingold Diet. She’s a sensory avoider. While I don’t think the food additives created her SPD, they make it worse. She was in 3rd grade when we finally got her into OT and a year later she was wearing jeans! Now she only has comfort issues when she goes off diet.

  • Brienne Calmer

    My brother with Asperger’s Did. Not. Wear. Buttoned. Shirts. until he was in high school. Not button downs, not polos, not henleys, absolutely nothing with a button. What finally broke it for him was that his choir uniform required it- who ever heard of a button-less tux?- but I can’t imagine what he went through to overcome it.

  • Vera Tonic

    I sympathise with the mother in the story, but most of my sympathy is for her daughter Violet. I have been struggling with what people around me usually consider an overreaction to clothes, nailpolish, even stray strings of hair on my skin, for my entire life, and I am now 40 years old. I’m also very easily disturbed by noise. Stories like these bring awareness that this is a problem for a significant part of humanity, not just for “extra spoiled” few. My ex husband even said that my parents have raised me wrong, that they should have taken some measures to desensitise me. I am hoping more people will realise how hard it is, living with a heightened sensitivity like this, and that the last thing such people need is extra judgement on the part of others.

    • AA91

      I’m right there with you Vera, and as I posted above, parents should not impose their own expectations on to their children. That includes what they think they should be wearing, eating, etc. Some people are more sensitive than others, it’s as simple as that. We are all different and that should be respected. This sensitivity for me has also shown up in heightened awareness of my environment, other people’s emotions, and sharp intuitiveness. Hyper-awarenes and sensory-overload across the board.

  • MJRM

    It is so common and unfortunate that the solutions to most problems with our children are to “fix” the child. I don’t doubt that SPD is very real, but so are kids (even toddlers) with their own feelings, ideas and (strong) preferences. The various ways of resolving the problem (that were presented in the video such as timers, punishments, rewards, etc) were all different approaches of controlling Violet. I wonder if part of the issue here wasn’t related to Violet’s desire to not be controlled.

  • MKG

    Thank you so much for sharing this story, and thanks to all who have experience with children like this who thoughtfully shared their stories. My son does not have the same problem, but has issues reminiscent of those discussed here. The few snarky comments (and thankfully there were only a few) left by some people who clearly don’t understand what these children are like, or what they need, can play into the fears of those of us who are parents of children with a variety of disorders. It was really heartening to see how many people there are out there who actually do get it, even if they are not themselves parents of special needs children.

    • Eve Allease

      I thought I was being too overbearing. Or that I wasn’t doing things right. Or that my kid was unreasonable and just difficult.

      My daughter also has sensory processing issues but they haven’t as yet interfered with her ability to function outside of the home.
      I notice that when she is stresed or anxious, she cannot tolerate anything “prickly”, or “rough” or “scratchy” on her skin – which can be any material actually when she’s stressed – and she also cannot stand to have anyone touch her hair “it hurts”, or have her feet “squooshed” in a shoe and socks. Oh! and those socks (and undies for that matter) better be seamless!

      When she is calmer and her day goes just as she wants, she doesn’t have as many issues. I know it has something to do with anxiety over all sorts of things, Integrating stimuli, transitions, new situations, etc. She’s also very tenacious, can be rigid, and incredibly advanced intellectually, creatively, and emotionally for her age.
      When I compare her to herself, she has improved. So has my parenting. I try not to make the mistake of comparing her to other kids, because I lose focus on what’s most important. HER. And she’s wonderful.
      She is in Kindergarten now, it is fall in New England, and she only wants to wear light weight cotton dresses with leggings. I can’t wait till winter – when her snowsuit is “too puffy!”.

      This story is very validating. Thanks for posting!

  • Jessie

    My husband changed careers when we were in our early 50s and became a pediatric physical therapist. He began talking from time to time about children he was seeing who had sensory sensitivities. One day I suddenly realized that this thing he was talking about was what I have, though to a lesser degree than his young clients. My entire life I’ve had to cut the tags out of shirts and sweaters, because I find them scratchy and irritating. I can wear pierced earrings (they don’t actually touch my skin, you see) but not rings or bracelets or necklaces, because I can’t stop feeling them on me. I wear a bra when I’m out in public, but the minute I come home I take it off, because the sensation of pressure around my chest makes me crazy. I can’t wear anything tight, at least not for very long. I have a great deal of sympathy for these children for whom the normal world is one irritating sensation after another. These aren’t spoiled kids, but children for whom the things that most people don’t even notice are an agony.

    • Karen Courtney

      Oh I cant stand wearing a bra!!!!

  • Viola

    When I was a toddler in the late sixties/early seventies, I wore a swimming cap when I left the house. It helped me to cope with the overwhelming sounds, sights and tactile sensations that we encountered. I also wore a jacket that was too small and carried to stuffed animals that were almost as big as I was. I could put them on my lap in a shopping cart and their weight helped center me.
    In an era during which girls were expected to wear dresses or skirts and frills and lace, I couldn’t tolerate the sensation of the wind on my bare legs and lace made me break out in a rash.
    My parents coped, not always happily, and eventually adapted to my needs by allowing me to wear boys clothes. Fortunately, girls today have more choices in clothes to meet their sensory needs.
    I still cringe when someone hugs me for the first time and I’m very particular about the textures of the fabrics I surround myself with.

  • LG

    I thought this story was very touching. The mother obviously loves her daughter very much and is trying, as most of us are, to just do the best she can. Parenting is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it’s especially hard looking back and having regrets about the choices I made. But hindsight is 20/20 and when you’re living the moment the solution(s) aren’t always so clear.

  • Sarah Kenney

    Thank you! For bringing awareness_ as well as your honest feelings of frustration/anguish/bewilderment. . . been there! After 14 months of OT our Sweet daughter was discharged. She occassionally has “episodes” but we are all so much better equipped to manage. (She enjoyed watching this with me!)

  • BMO

    My boyfriend, who is nearly 30, is constantly bothered by his clothing. He wears socks, underwear, and t-shirts inside out. When the seams aren’t against his skin he is far more comfortable. He also really likes clothes made from bamboo fibers as they are softer.

  • shopkins twistoff

    Maybe the daughter was over-reacting to the mother’s love of clothing and fashion and spent too much time on clothing. I did the same to my mother (minus the naked part) and my daughter is reacting the opposite of my preferences. I hate dresses and frilly stuff and wear pants everyday. My daughter loves dresses and frilly stuff and hates to wear pants.

  • Brett

    My daughter is 16 now but has always been extremely particular about what she would wear and that is baggy, soft clothes and never, ever, anything snug around the waist. (She’s recently had to come to terms with wearing a school uniform). she was a bit taken aback by being asked if she’s gay, we guess because she looks quite tom-boyish, this hasn’t been a big deal for her. For me, as a wardrobe stylist, I’ve tied myself in knots trying to get over wanting her to look a certain way.
    She probably has Sensory Processing issues to some degree, not quite serious enough to compel going to an OT, but serious enough that it does effect many aspects of her life including her diet–she is still a very picky eater.
    My suggestion: Integrated Listening System. A bit like strengthening a weak body at the gym. iLs is a gentle, gradual work out for the nervous system and has a remarkably positive affect on getting the senses integrated more efficiently.

  • Trena

    The article and the comments reinforce the common and growing perception, which is alarming, that the children, not the parents, are the ones exercising authority over the households.

    • Dixon

      This is not an issue around boundaries, authority or discipline, it is a true disorder. Trying to use heavy-handed enforcement tactics amplifies the problem particularly while you’re in it. Wish it was as simple or black and white as the classic roles and responsibilities but it’s not.

    • RuthieS

      Part of exercising authority in a household is not forcing a child to do something that is obviously torture to them. Perhaps you’ve never had to deal with a child like that, but I have, and this is not a place to throw one’s weight around. It’s easy to say something like you just did. It’s not so easy – or wise – to overpower a small human being who is obviously experiencing extreme reactions.A bit of sensitive and thoughtful listening goes a long way.

      I decided in the long run that I cared more about my small child than I cared about all the other people with their facile judgments, and that stance held up quite well over the years.

    • Pipy

      You obviously don’t have a child with special needs.

    • babby660

      Uh, if I read the article correctly, this is not about a simple battle of wills. It is about the physical distress that clothing can inflict on some children.

  • jcarla

    My 5 year nephew has this but for the food. He has trouble with textures and like Violet has to go to occupational therapy. It has gotten somwhat better, but with the addition of his allergies (Friday he had a reaction to the fish nuggets served at his school), he still mostly eats baby food.

  • Lisa V

    My daughter is 14 now wears most things and has no issues, but when she was between the ages of 15 months – 4 years old we went through a stage where she wouldn’t wear any dresses [not a big deal and she still doesn't], then she wouldn’t wear any clothes when we were in the house. We made an agreement that she would wear clothes when we left the house and when we were in public places but as soon as we got to a friends house or home she could go naked. Luckily she potty trained early and my friends were okay with her being naked in their houses. Then we went through a stage where she would only wear long john style soft PJ’s everywhere and all the time. Then no socks, then socks turned inside out. We had a period of never wearing underwear. Then just leggings and soft tops. By the time she was in first grade we moved into a phase of just wearing boys baggy clothes. I basically handled this by letting her wear whatever she wanted. By the time she was 18 months she was picking out her own clothes. I would say unless your child is special needs don’t worry too much and follow their lead unless it will hurt them in some way.

  • SueFF

    So she finally got her perfect little “Barbie” daughter? Ugh; what an adolescent the mother is and I apologize to adolescents for the reference.

    • JV

      lighten up! Or should I say, don’t get your tights in a knot

    • Hillary Frank

      SueFF, Hillary here, the producer of the video and original podcast episode that this video is based on. Just wanted to take a moment and remind you (and all potential commenters) that Joyce is a real person telling a real story about a highly sensitive subject. The moms and dads who share their stories on The Longest Shortest Time are generally in a pretty fragile state to begin with and I ask that when you comment, you be mindful of their feelings. I have no problem with critiques of the piece itself or the content in it, but I ask that you refrain from personal attacks.

    • Olive

      I had the exact same “Ugh” response that SueFF had to the Barbie dream world comment. I was smiling along with the mom-narrator until that moment, but when I heard that line I was so stunned that I actually choked on the water I was drinking. I’m more than a bit surprised that that particular confession didn’t get edited out, too. It was the perfect story, until you realize that mom didn’t actually learn the biggest lesson she needed to learn from her experience: that her daughter is not a living doll.

      • Lucy

        You know what’s worse than a mother who loves her daughter and bonds with her over the fun of clothes? People who are disrespectful and judgmental.

        • Olive

          My comment isn’t warm and fuzzy, it’s true, but neither is it insulting, and believe it or not, it didn’t come from a place of judgement (though I’m pretty sure yours does). I refrained from judging the mom in question for wanting to punch her toddler (even though it made me shudder), and for being so caught up in her fantasy of what having a small child should be like (or what she wishes it were like) that it took her months to see that her daughter was in physical pain. And yes, I do have serious concerns about the Barbie dream comment, which is not a benign expression of mother-daughter bonding but a symptom of a much bigger problem. Pointing out the big elephant in the middle of the room always makes others uncomfortable, but that doesn’t make it a disrespectful or judgmental act. I wish this mother and daughter well. I don’t think the mother is a bad person, nor is she a bad parent, but her testimony is premature, because her real epiphany has yet to occur.

      • Amanda

        Totally agree. I also couldn’t help but think that the vintage baby clothing and sweet hipster-baby duds she described (which, yes, I love as well!) seem terribly uncomfortable. Maybe I missed the part where she went and bought a bunch of soft stretchy cotton knits?

  • Nia

    We are born naked. Why on earth would we want to put clothes on?

    I constantly removed my clothes off for the first couples of years on this planet and that’s the way it was. I also didn’t talk until I was 2.5 and what came out were full sentences. I am now 42, have a college degree, work full time and care for my elderly father. I’ve been in a steady 15 year relationship. I don’t have kids but I have 4 cats. My parents didn’t freak out, they didn’t call the doctor, they didn’t diagnose me with a disorder. How neglectful, huh?

    • Jeffrey DeArruda

      Why would we want to put clothes on? Clothes protect us from the environment. Don’t believe me? Go shovel snow naked, let me know how that works out for you.

      • babby660

        It probably was quite warm on the savannah, where we, as humans, started out. What I’d like to know is why we persisted in living in climates with such inhospitable temperatures.

        • Keith D.

          No airplanes.

  • K

    Our oldest is now 8, and only wears cotton leggings (no tights) and soft jersey dresses or skirts — like her mom. We are uncomfortable in much else. When she is stressed or undergoing major transitions, everything gets worse, and “feels funny.” She couldn’t wear underpants for the months surrounding the beginning of kindergarten, and every year these anxieties manifest in different ways. I am grateful that she has options of clothing that work, and remember growing up in a time where fabrics were stiff and leggings and yoga pants weren’t an acceptable school clothing option.

  • Liezel Graham

    I had to smile when I read the title of this article… not in an ugly way, but just a smile… my son went completely naked for more than a year. A whole year. I can’t tell you what my Electricity bill was during the very cold winter months. Finally, through MUCH perseverance and a lot of prayer and I am not quite sure what else, he is now wearing clothes. And has been wearing them for almost a year. He recently turned 4 and has autism and SPD. All I can say is hang in there with your baby and keep trying clothes. We can’t layer and he only wears soft sweatpants and t-shirts. But it has been one of the greatest victories for us.

    • Donna Blass

      Bless you for your patience and endurance with your disabled son. At this age you are all he has and most of what he knows about the world. You sound like you are able to cope with grace and humor in facing a rather tragic situation. Your story is inspiring. Best of luck.