4 Tips to Help Children with Autism Dress for the Winter

Posted by Annie Hsieh

4 Tips to Help Children with Autism Dress for the Winter

4 Tips to Help Children with Autism Dress for the Winter

As the temperature drops, one of the biggest challenges parents face is helping our child get properly dressed for the cold weather. We wish it was as simple as putting all the cozy sweaters, gloves, and heavy jackets on our children to keep them warm, but it’s not always that easy. 

It takes time and creativity to help children with autism put on winter clothes. Each of them have different sensitivity levels and unique challenges. Some may prefer the soft texture of fleece, while others may prefer weighted pressure of heavy coats. Below are some tips to help our children dress for this winter.

Remove Itchy Tags

Inspect clothing for possible ways to remove tags before purchase and be one step ahead of the game. Is the tag sewed into the clothing separately? Can you use a seam ripper to cut out the threads and remove it? If you must use scissors, carefully cut the edge and try to avoid small corners that can cause irritation. 

Remove Itchy Tags

Let Your Child Decide

Before bedtime, have your child pick out their outfit for the next day. Provide at least two options for each clothing layer and accessory to your child. You can turn this into a daily routine and stick to the schedule

Bring your child on a shopping trip and let them try on and pick out an outfit. Even if you don’t have time to visit the store together, you can always take them on a virtual tour by showing them pictures on your phone or visiting online stores. Get them excited for the winter season!

Let Your Child Decide

Dress Like An Onion - No, not the smell; layers. 

Apply layers and allow your child to be more flexible between indoor and outdoor temperature. Children with autism need more time to practice wearing a new coat. Spend time in advance with short practice sessions to allow your child to become more familiar with their winter gear.  

Dress Like An Onion

Play the Dress Up Game

Turn a daily chore into a fun game by competing with your child to see who can put on their winter clothing the fastest. Perform role-playing, like pretending what a jolly snowman would want to wear in the cold. Put up a graphic chart near the closet to help your child keep track of what to put on before going out.

Play the Dress Up Game

 Your Turn: What's your strategy to get your child dress for the winter? Share with us! 



I struggle with my son wearing winter clothing he always wants to wear a sweat jacket i will try those techniques thank you!!

— Justina,

Hi Dorothy,
That’s a great idea! It’s super easy and fun. Thank you for sharing and stay warm!

— Lakikid,

I tell him those are my clothes. He laughs and giggles as he is getting dressed. For example I will say that is my shirt,I’m gonna put on my shirt. He gets the shirt and rushes to get it on while laughing and giggling..

— Dorothy hedge,

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