What inspired Spectra?
In 2002 my beautiful daughter arrived in our home. She was aged two when she arrived on 17th December. (I will never forget the date). Kirsty had a few medical problems one being ADHD. Although not talking at the time, it didn’t take her long to start. As she was diganosed with ADHD we put her quirkiness down to that. It was much later when we received the diagnosis that she was on Autistic Spectrum.
I have to say that once we had that diagnosis it made a lot of sense. I confess to being ignorant of the condition. Yes with hindsight I should have noticed but with ADHD diagnosis I didn’t. Caring for a child with Autism is a continuous learning process, any parent lucky enough to care for a child with ASD will tell you that you will need to adjust your parenting style and become aware of your child’s alternative needs and dislikes.
Learning to understand my daughters sensory issues helped us communicate better and through listening to her in ways that was comfortable and accessible to her, I began to piece together what she liked to do, the clothes she liked to wear and the things in her life that caused her stress and agitation.
One of the major issues I have faced and one that caused great stress for my daughter was clothing. Washing labels, itchy materials and seams are just a few of the things that caused her sensory discomfort. Christmas time would cause her stress as all the other children in school would be wearing heavy wool jumpers with reindeer and Santa; for her the nature of these clothes would cause her so much sensory stress that she would not be able to take part and this led her to feel even more isolated from her peers.
Clothing was a major issue and I am so glad I learnt from going to classes everywhere, to find out more about the condition. By this stage Kirsty had stopped talking, I mean she talked, but trying to get conversation out of her was like trying to get blood from a stone. She never told me that the wardrobe full of clothes which I had bought for her, would never be worn. So learning about sensory issues around clothing led to peace in our home. I still got it wrong a lot (in thinking all fleeces were the same) Knowing which clothes she didn’t like was a real benefit, but did not help much in finding things she would like – after networking with other mums and support groups who were going through the same circumstances I decided that it was about time there was an ASD friendly clothing range.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media to keep up to date during this development stage!