Lydia Petropoulou presents the new collection of ASDA clothes, specially designed for students with autism or other learning difficulties.
One of the UK’s most popular supermarket chains, ASDA, is the first to launch a collection of school uniforms for children with sensory-sensitive needs. This initiative aims at helping those children’s independent dressing and saving time for their parents. The new collection includes softer fabrics, buttons with easy fastening, thicker seams and label-free separates to ensure comfort. Everything has been taken into consideration, from the choice of fabric to the design and colours, to reduce any stress during the process of getting dressed.
Children with specific sensory needs are prone to expressing anxiety and distress while getting dressed, or while someone else is doing that for them. They are affected by the design of clothes, the material, and the comfort. Bulky fabrics, difficult fastenings, and annoying care instruction labels inside the garments can make it twice as long to get them dressed. ASDA found that 80% of parents who have children with specific needs admitted that the process is really hard.
The collection “Easy On Easy Wear” was developed after ASDA conducted research with charities and individual consumers. It includes pull-on polo shirts and school jumpers with easy fastening, designed to offer the maximum comfort, while promoting independent dressing. Softer seam threads and elasticated waistbands are also included in the range.
Members of the ASDA chain said: “Helping with independent dressing and made from sensory-kind fabric for extra comfort, our boys’ school uniform and girls’ school uniform will have them covered day-in, day-out.” They also stated that most of the clothing designed for children follows the common neurotypical system’s rules. That is, clothing features that the standard child can deal with (tight necklines, non-elasticated cuffs, hard to do up buttons, and so on). Therefore, as Caroline Hicks, head of school wear at George, also admitted, children with sensory needs, who mainly attend mainstream schools and wish to look like their peers, find it very hard to handle this situation.
Finally, the supermarket retailer stressed the increasing need to design comfortable clothes for children with learning disabilities, as they represent 2.5% of children in the UK.