How do people who are non-verbal choose clothing?

Question:I was wondering if people with Low-Mid Functioning Autism go shopping to pick out their clothes such as underwear,shirts, pants etc? How can they communicate that they want to wear colored underwear if they cannot speak? Do they just point to what they want? Or will the parents know what to buy? How is it that one person starts wearing colors and all of a sudden wears white?

Answers:
A lot of this depends on the age of the person. If you're talking about children, probably the same way all children pick out clothing: let a parent or someone else do it for them.

As they get older, you have to ask yourself, "Does the person really care?"

Who is placing more importance on choosing close, the person with autism, or the parent? If the person with autism thinks choosing a specific type of clothing is important, more than likely they'll let it be known by wearing only certain clothes.

Think about people without disabilities. How many of us care about computers? I can think of a few people who absolutely NEED to have the newest one, with all the newest accessories. To them it is important. To someone else, they have no idea why someone would spend so much time and money on a computer!

Some people couldn't care less about computers and can't really make any choices on what type to buy, what configurations to buy, etc. Does this mean this person who is unable to communicate his computer wants and needs is autistic? No. How would you help him pick out the right computer? The same way you would help someone with autism select clothes: through education (and practice).

Educate the person to express his wants and needs. By educate, I don't only mean learning to point, or identifying colors. This involves practicality and needs based on environments and social settings. If it's winter, they'd better learn to choose that coat. If it's a boy, they'd better learn that dresses aren't the best choice. If you're going out in public, they'd better not select pajamas. These are the important choices...and NOT whether to wear the blue or red underwear. If you're going to place emphasis underwear color, then I've got a $10,000 that you absolutely need!
Someone helps them.
This is going to be long; you have many parts to your question.

It depends on the person. There are many children with Autism and other disabilities that are non-verbal. In the past 8-10 years, there are been a increase in the number of non-verbal persons using computer based communication system. There are also low tech solutions for communication such as holding up 2 choices asking the person what they like, asking yes/no questions or using a symbol based communication system such as PECS. There are even lower tech methods. Even you have made choices without using words, you have pointed, looked, moved toward, shook your head, smiled or made a noise to indicate choice.

For the majority of children, parents often pick the clothing the child will wear. As the child becomes more independent the child may begin to select their own clothing. Matching colors might be an issue so the parents and educators might come up with a method to demonstrate what matches. I have students that parents have taken pictures of their children in all the outfits the child has. The child then can look at the picture and know what to pick. There other parents that only buy clothing that match (all black, blue, or gray).

There are people with disabilities that also have likes and dislikes of color or other conditions that would make them switch to a specific color. You sometimes have to forget the person has a disability and ask yourself, why does anyone where one solid color by choice? It can be a preference, a psychological condition or what they have been taught.
I buy my son what he will be comfortable in. He doesn't care.
They either point out what they want to whoever is helping them shop or they may use pictures to communicate with someone. For people who can't communicate verbally they use PECS.
They may be unable to speak, but they would certainly know what clothing they desired. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? - Romans 8:31. The Lord daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. - Psalm 68:19. Peace and God Bless.

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