Clothing Choices and Care for Grade School Children Who are Blind or Low Vision
One topic of successful transition that can be easily overlooked in grade-school years is your child’s increased independence in her wardrobe. Using APH CareerConnect’s appropriate attire lesson plan as a guide, give your child the knowledge, tools, and experience needed to choose appropriate clothing for a range of occasions and properly care for her clothing.
Help your child work toward independence in clothing and care by teaching these skills:
- Learn to recognize properly fitting clothing.
- Learn to choose clothing that is as formal or casual as appropriate for an occasion. Learn which fabrics indicate more or less formal clothing.
- Understand appropriate clothing choices for a variety of circumstances. Bathing suits are worn near water; knee-length or longer skirts, dresses, skirts, formal slacks, collared shirts, and nice blouses are worn by employees in offices; a variety of uniforms are worn by employees in businesses; raggedy clothing is permissible while playing in the backyard; provide guidelines for clothing that is acceptable at school, etc.
- With your help, your grade schooler can organize closets and drawers around clothing that matches, keeping “play clothes” in a different space than more formal clothing. The goal of organization is for your child to independently choose clothes and get dressed.
- Help your child label clothing by color or by matching styles, choosing a system that makes sense to her.
- Learn to clean and iron clothing as needed and as suitable for the garment’s fabric.
- With help, label washer and dryer settings.
- Learn to recognize wrinkly, smelly, torn, or otherwise unpresentable clothing.
- Learn to use a coin laundry.
- Learn to use dry cleaning services.
- Learn to mend a small hole in a fabric seam or take clothing to be altered.
- Learn when to throw away tattered clothing, and where to donate gently used, rarely worn pieces.
- Drawing on the self-presentation lesson plan from CareerConnect, teach your child how and where to purchase clothing; recognizing styles, colors, and fits; and choosing a personal style. With your child’s approval, you can bring along a well-dressed peer to help choose current stylish clothing.
In addition to teaching your child how to choose and care for clothing, help her recognize the significance of these choices. Clothing sends a message to others. What message does your child want to send?