My Special Needs Network

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Great Dressing Solutions for the"I Can Do It Myself!" Child

Dressing skills are often a challenge for children with special needs. Just FYI, in normal developmental sequence, the progression is usually that the undoing skill emerges first (as in unbutton, unsnap, untie etc.) before the ability to fasten garments.


>>Click here to find I Can Do It products to build Dressing Skills for special needs


Every child is unique though so even this sequence can vary and sometimes plateauing occurs with a particular skill level. That's why it's good to keep a stash of creative ideas to combat boredom and repetition. Here are two new solutions for dressing skills that are fun, motivating and guaranteed to be boredom busters!


DressUpDragon is a delightful and sensory way to work on dressing manipulatives including a non-removable vest with variable size buttons and a zipper. Cape, hat and shoes are removable with hook/loop, clip and lace fastenings.



SnapDragon has a total of 27 snaps in two sizes and his wings and cape are removable.

These additions are sure to make for great practice tools for your home, clinic or classroom.

Tips for additional practice and to generalize skills

1. Alternate with on-body clothing as well. 

2. Look for separates that are slightly oversized and/or have larger buttons, snaps or ties.  This will promote learning orientation of clothing to body and help build additional motor planning skills.  


>>Click here to shop all I Can Do It products to build Dressing Skills for special needs


What are your favorite dressing tips to help promote  the "I Can Do It Myself!" attitude?  Let us hear from you!

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Comment by Martianne Stanger on February 27, 2012 at 11:45pm

My son went for a long period tryin to wear his feeties under his clothes b/c he hated getting dressed.  He's over that now, but still loves jammies days.

A number of things helped him get through the transition to dressing (and actual sensory experience of doing so) issue -- OT, encouragement, patience, and making it very much a part of our routine, as we did first with html and then with  Maybe a visual schedule could help your child.

Comment by Lynn Lindahl on February 27, 2012 at 11:37pm
Our biggest problem is the transition to getting dressed. We have a meltdown almost daily. Maybe a visual timer would help prepare her better and help us succeed in getting dressed each day!
Comment by Cecilia Cruse on February 26, 2012 at 3:17pm

Agreed! Melissa and Doug products are all awesome including this Dressing Puzzle. Thanks for the video too. Shows how easy the flip method is for kids to use!

Comment by Martianne Stanger on February 25, 2012 at 3:47pm

I love your number 2 idea.  I also like Melissa and Doug's basic skills puzzle with the clothing, pocket, shoe, etc on it.  Plus, I like the Montessori-style jacket flip (seen in a video here-

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