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Going clothing shopping can be a stressful time for an individual with autism and the rest of the family. This FAQ sheet will give information that may be helpful with understanding some of the difficulties families have during a day of shopping.
Individuals with autism who are sensitive to touch may have problems wearing certain fabrics. People who wear a heavy winter coat in the summer may do this because he or she feels positive sensory feedback from the fabric or weight of the clothing.
Consider catalogue shopping, purchasing items in stores that allow returns or consignment/Goodwill shops. Worn clothing is usually already softened due to repeated washing and therefore, less likely to be rejected by individuals with sensory issues.
Some individuals with autism may not understand why we try clothing on during shopping. They may not understand why they are told to not take off their clothes at school or at home but while shopping it is okay to take clothes off in a dressing room.
Lighting, objects, or displays
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.