What would you do if your 17-year-old son still struggled with dressing himself? For Lauren Thierry the answer was to switch careers and become a fashion designer.
Many children on the spectrum have sensory issues or struggle with fine or gross motor skills making the seemingly simple task of getting dressed in the morning a frustrating nightmare.
“I know it sounds like such a non-issue, and yet, if your kid can’t get dressed, they can’t get out of the house,” said the innovative mum, speaking to abcNews.
The Connecticut mum says her design inspiration arrived very soon after the family had attended a baseball game, where 11-year-old Liam had gone to the bathroom alone, and returned with his pants around his ankles.
Independence Day Clothing was born soon after this event, which Thierry describes as mortifying. Working with a designer, the mum of two pooled all her knowledge about what items could work for kids like Liam into the basis for the label’s clothes.
The versatile clothes offer a whole new approach to dressing and offer minimal complications. Most are unisex, have no front or back and are reversible. This eliminates the risk of being put on back to front or inside out making getting dressed properly very achievable and confidence boosting.
The clothes include ‘hidden helpers’, to bypass the tricky bits involved with dressing. There are no buttons, zippers, tags and laces. Super smooth fabric was chosen as people with autism often have sensory processing disorder rendering many clothes irritating and unwearable.
A controversial feature is the option to include a GPS trackable device. Although some may see this as spying on children, Thierry says it is a lifesaver for children who are non-verbal or prone to wandering.
Thierry was adamant about creating a fashionable range, beyond the comfy but boring, baggy sweatpants and t-shirt combos that often become staples in the wardrobes of people with autism. Judging from the photos we think she’s succeeded.