Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Waist Band Closures

This weekend was great in terms of feedback and email from you guys. There was one topic that many people touched on - waist bands and closures. In the past, other parents have offered varying opinions about that too. There isn't one strongest or most popular option that has emerged from the possibilities, so I'd like to open up the subject for general discussion. Please let me hear from as many of you as have a preference on this.

Here's the overview.

Standard zipper and button clossures on pants present a challenge for many children with Down syndrome. The buttons, in particular, can be difficult. So, the standard approach is out. There are a handful of possible alternatives. What's the best approach?

- Elastic around the entire waist and no opening. This design would incorporate a faux zipper and a faux closure. This seems like the best approach - to a point. The issue is that at some point the child wants to wear clothes like the other kids are wearing. Is that the time to transition to a real fly and closure? Also, some parents have expressed a desire for their child to master the skill of buttoning their pants. If that's your perspective, at what point should the child begin to develop that skill?

- Velcro closure. That may be the easiest closure of all. But, is it strong enough - especially over time when the catching hook section seems to collect every stray piece of thread and lint that it encounters in the laundry pile or washing machine. When it's collected enough, the strength of the connection is much diminished. I always end up picking those little pieces out of the velcro. It's oddly compelling - like peeling a sunburn - but it's a time consuming bother. What do you think?

- Snap closure. Snaps are widely available and many pants manufacturers use snaps in their lines. Snaps don't require as much fine motor skill as buttons. Other than the occassional tricky
or uncooperative snap, they seem like a good option. Are there issues I haven't heard about or considered?

- Button closure. Seems like the most challenging, so least desirable, option. There are ways to make buttoning a little easier - using a bigger button, making the hole a bit bigger than the standard size for whatever button is used, a long shank on the button. Is that extra help enough to make this option desirable? Are you a parent who wants your child to master buttoning and, if so, when do you want that to happen?

- Any other options or suggestions?

Please share your thoughts and ideas. Thanks!

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Anonymous said...

Re: waist bands
My typical daughter goes to Catholic school and wears a uniform. The summer uniform is shorts with a metal closure, which was super easy for her to use at 5 years old. It is sort of like a large version of a hook and eye. you don't really have to be precise to "catch" it. Something like this may be helpful.

Sherry said...

Terrific suggestion! Thanks.