When parents imagine what they want for their child’s future, they might envision close friends, a happy family and a fulfilling career. In Lauren Thierry’s case, what she wants most of all for her son is independence, she wants him to be able to do simple things for himself, like get dressed.
Thierry’s son Liam, who has autism, often experiences huge setbacks when trying to do things most people take for granted.
“I know it sounds like such a non-issue,” explains Thierry. “And yet, if your kid can’t get dressed, they can’t get out of the house.” With the reality that she won’t be around forever, she wanted to do something to solve the problem now.
And solve the problem she did. Even better, she made her solution available to everyone, in the form of Independence Day Clothing.
The clothing line is the ultimate combination of form and function. The pieces themselves are fashionable and stylish, but have features that are specifically designed to accommodate people with cognitive and physical impairments.
There’s no “wrong way” to wear each item, since each piece has no designated front, back, inside or outside.
Thierry also eliminated buttons and zippers, which can be obstacles for those who have issues with their fine and gross motor skills. Tags and lace, common irritants for people with sensory and processing disorders, are also absent from Independence Day pieces.
Bright colors and fun patterns make the clothing exciting to wear, even without complicated design features.
Each top, bottom and dress has also been designed with comfort in mind. The fabric used is always smooth and soft, so there’s no possibility of annoyance.
Perhaps the most comforting feature, for wearers and caregivers alike, is the fact that many items are GPS compatible.
Some kids are prone to wander (or run) off and may not be able to find help or get back to their parent. With a GPS device hiding in their outfit, parents are able to locate them with minimal worry.
Thierry also points out that her clothing is suited to anyone with difficulties dressing themselves, not just children. Adults with limited range of movement can put items on easily the first time, and the GPS feature could give peace of mind to carers of those suffering from conditions like dementia.
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