Uniforms – Modified for Autistic Kid

It’s High School time for N.

At our high school the kids wear uniforms.  It is a light tan bottom with a white polo style top– and while I love the idea of uniforms, those colours, for N, translate into “potential daily laundry” for me.

The pants are also problematic because they have a button and zipper fly.  N needs a stretchy waistband to be functional.  Not surprisingly there were none for sale at the annual “used uniform” sale.  I was informed by the school that “adapted” uniforms were available from the uniform store.  Guess I have to buy new.

I went onto the uniform store website to order the adapted clothing.  There was no such product option available online.  OK, fine, I have to go to the store.  So, one hot and humid August morning, I drove to the uniform store, only to find an enormous line of parents wrapping around the building, and no available parking in the parking lot.  In fact, the street was lined on both sides with parked cars as far as the eye could see.   I felt like stopping and whipping out my handy speaker cone for public service announcements:  “Hear yea! – your stuff can be found on the internet: everything is there and can be ordered for pickup or delivery, except for adapted clothing.”  But like complaining, what would be the point?  Instead I went home and made a different plan.

N’s oldest brother has left for university this fall.  His high school uniforms were still hanging around the house.  They were too big for N and so I had planned to donate them to the school.  However I decided that too big was better than too small, for somebody who cannot sew to save herself.

I purchased 1.5 inch heavy stretch elastic from WalMart.  I turned the “too big” pants inside out and stretched the elastic along the waistband, pinning it at regular lengths.  Then I then used my old sh-ty sewing machine to stitch around the circumference of the elastic.  I sewed once around the top of the elastic and again around the bottom.  By the way, if you happen to machine sew over the clasp or button you will break the needle on your sewing machine.  The solution – buy a wide elastic and be sure to sew above and below the normal-people attachment.

The end result is pants that look the same as everybody else’s, but have a secret elastic waistband that is perfect for special needs.  Two sizes too large seems to be the needed dimension.  Less than that – in spite of your elastic you will have difficulty pulling the pants over the butt.  I suggest elastic 1 inch or greater, biggest you can find.

Keep calm and carry on!


About lifewithautistickid

I am a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), with an MBA and BA. I have been fortunate to have had an extraordinary life with an autistic kid. I have learned so much from him about people and life in general. I want to make a difference by sharing my extraordinary experiences. Raising a son with severe autism and developmental disability has made me realize how we who are "normal" do not understand "disability". Instead of trying to "fix" people like my son by burying them in the community, I would like to see a society that respects and honors them for who they are. The potential is endless, in a world that can celebrate with sincerity, the dignity of the individual. Love and blessings to people of all "disability" . That includes you and me!
This entry was posted in Autism Lessons, Helpful, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s