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julie-2

Clothes picking

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Hi all!

 

I have'nt posted for while now, but read your posts with great interest each day.

 

I dont know if anyone remembers me, I a mum to gem a son of 15yrs with ocd, and a daughter of 7yrs with asd and epilepsy, who attends a resource unit attached to a mainstream school in NW London.

 

Sian was diagnosed at 4.5yrs with asd and epilepsy. Sian initially started off in mainstream school when she was 5yrs old with 1-1 support all day, but she was rarely there for a full day, I would get phone calls every other day to collect her after being there just a couple of hours, due to them not bein able to cope with her needs.

 

Since she's attended the resource unit she has progressed to a certain extent, but the behaviour seems to have got worse over the last couple of years . To be honest i'm not sure whether this is down to the asd or the epilepsy meds she takes as these have lots of nasty side effects, there is also the possibility of her copying her older brother's horrid behaviour ie. the swearing, lashing out.

 

I wondered if I could ask if anyone has had to deal with clothes picking with their child before, with picking at any loose threads on socks, vests, knickers, anything which she can find a loose thread to.

 

Its a nightmare for us as I seem to be throwing so many clothes away after sewing them up a few times, she seems to remember which ones she's picked at and looks for the holes and becomes very agitated and anxious and refuses point blank to wear anything with a tiny hole in it.

 

Someone suggested giving her a ball of thread from the sewing box to play with, tried that but she's not interested.

 

She also tends to come home from school with a different top on, as she has picked away at the top so much she's had to have another one put on. I have asked the school if they can think of any strategies to try stopping this, but they have'nt helped much, I have also attended SCAN where they suggested reward charts, this didnt work either.

 

I dont know whether any of you have girls with the same problems, I also have issues with her not wearing skirts, dresses, zips, certain buttons especially ones on jeans wont wear them as the fabric is to hard. :tearful:

 

Its really difficult when shopping for clothes for her as I never know what she will wear without getting totally stressed out about it.

 

any advice much appreciated.

 

Julie :rolleyes:

Edited by julie-2

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Hi Julie

 

I have the same problem with Paris, doesn't matter what she wears she has to pick at it. As of yet we've failed to stop her :( All I do now is buy cheaper plain clothes as we go through so many!

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I had this with my son, he's not so bad now because he's gone back to biting his nails and continuing his nose picking habit with a vengence!

 

At 4 I managed to take his dummy way from him which is when the clothes picking and chewing started. Up till then he always had toys in his mouth and his dummy when ever he could sneek it away from its hiding place. Once the dummy was thrown away he started chewing his clothes and his tops were always soaking wet at the neck and cuffs. As soon as he started school he started eating his ties, I could tell when he had been in assembly because his tie was a mangled mess that evening and I had to buy a new one. He used to pick the writing out of his socks with such precission and pull all the threads out of the top of them too. He'd undo all the hems of his trousers and rip all the label out of his clothing. I had to replace lost jumpers every month or so because he pulled all the name labels out even though he would never wear them.

 

He wouldn't and still doesnt wear jumpers even on the coldest day, when it was really cold here in March all the mothers and kids were in the playground after school dressed in hats and gloves and jumping up and down to keep warm, DS come out of school with only his trousers and shirt on unbottoned which he took off and gave to me when he gave me his bags. The other parents couldn't beleive it!

 

He also hates jeans and generally wears shorts or tracksuit bottoms. I have to make him get changed every day in winter after he comes down with shorts on. At home he generally only wears pants around the house. He just hates clothes.

 

I just thought I'd let you know youre not alone.

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mine prefers his skin aswell and also chews on towels! i have managed to hide them before but then he gets a bath towel and wrecks it,,dont have the probs with chewing clothing though, mind you if its warm i have to take him to school in t shirt and shorts cos if he has a jumper on at the start of the day he will refuse to take it off if it is warm because he says it is uniform and that he has to wear it! if that makes sense?

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Hello again thanks for your replies.

 

Its good to know i'm not alone with the clothes picking.

 

Sooze2 your son sounds so much like my daughter Sian, sometimes you feel you can laugh about it, but there are days, when i'm pulling my hair out with frustration at what I can do to try to stop it.

 

SCAN are like CAMHS they asked loads of questions and tried giving me ideas of other things she may be interested in picking like leting her look through my sewing box whic has bundles of threads and things, but she was not interested, just seems to scrutinise any clothing before putting it on, and if she finds even a tiny little hole will go into one.

 

I have resorted to buying most of her clothes from Asda as they are very reasonably priced, although had difficulty buying her socks last weeek again, as was looking for something dark in colour without any patters on as these tend to have the loose threads on the inside, so when she's putting them on will see this and start picking again. She put 3 pairs of socks on last week in less than an hour, and kept saying there's holes there's holes, so had to remove them and put another pair on.

 

I have tried telling her she wont be allowed any treats i.e. her chocolate if there has been any picking when she gets in from school or I catch her doing it at home, this has worked sometimes, but 9/10 it has not.

 

Will keep you informed if SCAN come up with any other strategies to help with this.

 

Julie :thumbs:

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my little clothes picker will chew/tear at her clothes if she's stressed or bored. one day she took a new coat to school and came back with a carrier bag of shredded fabric. i dread to think what goes on in the school that they dont notice a child shredding their coat to that extent! she now shreds kitchen roll for the hamster if she's stressed at home, and sees it as a big treat because she then gets to put it in the cage. this is a huge treat for her because she's not allowed to touch the hamster or the cage normally. if we're out, we just grit our teeth and watch as the clothes get destroyed, but make sure she understands after why she did it, and that its not acceptable behaviour. we originally tried punishing her for it as it is a naughty behaviour, but this just made it happen more often.

 

if she has sensory issues and dislikes holes and loose threads because they feel funny (i can completely understand that, i HATE those socks with all the fuzzy bits inside), then it may be best to take her to a clothes shop, go through the options of clothing and get her to see she has options, but has to pick one and then not destroy them. although this is probably annoying to you, better quality clothes generally feel better on the skin, and this may be another thing to talk through with her. i get lots of cheap 'funny' socks at christmas, but almost always can't wear them because they have loose threads or are made of scratchy fabric. does she have enough understanding to accept that if she breaks ezpensive things, she'll have to have 'nasty' cheap things? when iwas little my parents made a compromise with me that i would wear the clothes they chose, but that i could choose my socks. it meant that i'd go out of the door in a beautiful white dress and lime green and blue socks, but it meant i could focus on my feet not feeling horrible, even if the rest of me did.

hope something iv'e said helps

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Hello Nobbynobbs

 

I read your post with reliefand a little smile :rolleyes: knowing that at least there are certainly people out there who do similar things to my daughter. I must admit I would have been really cross if my daughter had a brand new coat and shredded it the same day, I have gone through all the screaming and punishing stages, they just dont work.

 

I like your idea of letting the child choose their socks for themselves, the idea of maybe taking her to the shops with me in order for her to pick out some socks for herself could work, although not sure whether she would want to or not, as she's only 7.5 yrs she tends to not like going to the shops, or out in general, and will nearly always start swearing, or playing up so I tend to do any clothes shopping alone, as less stressful.

 

I also like your idea of shredding the kitchen role for the hamster, we have a dog so not sure what Sian could shred up and give to her. My daughter does have a tendency to take off any paper labels, on anything she can get her hands on including cleaning stuff, only bought a couple of days ago and she just likes peeling them all off, then the dogs tends to wait and eat them all up. :wacko:

 

ANyway thanks again for your advice will certainly try them out.

 

Julie :thumbs:

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