Our kids with Down syndrome tend to have uniquely shaped bodies that don’t fit quite as well into typically-developing kid’s clothes. Our kids tend to have shorter arms and legs, smaller, fleshier hands (that can make finer motor skills more challenging).
Our kids may or may not also need extra room for diapers a little longer than typically developing kids do, and they may also need greater adjustments in the waist area.
Recognizing this, some enterprising individuals and small companies have created designs and lines of clothing specifically for people with Down syndrome.
So far though, major brands and companies have not.
The Target adaptive clothing line came out late last year. The line was starting out with kid’s clothes, making adaptive clothing within the Cat & Jack brand (which I love and clothe my kids almost exclusively in, because they have the ASL t’s (see left) and the “Kind is Cool” stuff)
The kid’s adaptive clothing line is awesome. It has the whole tamale – swimsuits, pants, shirts,
I liked how the clothes come with strategic holes for ports and tubes, and most clothing is a little more spacious in case diapers are being used.
I also liked how so many models on the site had disabilities.
Is it good for people with Down syndrome though?
The Target adaptive clothing line seems like it’s more tailored for kids who are wheelchair users and who have sensory issues than anything. While there are waistband adjusters for most of the clothes (yay!), there doesn’t seem to be much limb length variety, that is, pants and shirt legs and arms being shorter to accommodate the average person with Down syndrome.
I personally wanted more variety. I was specifically looking for the ASL shirts and more from the “Kind is Cool” wear, but there wasn’t much.
I am going to cut them slack though, since the line just started about 6 months ago. Hopefully they will be adding more soon.
Speaking of Adding More to the Target Adaptive Clothing Line…!
There are NO clothes for men! There aren’t that many for grown women either, but at least there is something. I’m hoping Target revs up and gets the men’s section going (you know that it’s not just women and children who have disabilities, right, Target?!!).
The clothes for women are cute. Not a huge selection, but cute.
I am not sure how helpful any of the adult women adaptive clothing selections would actually be for a grown woman with Down syndrome though. They don’t accommodate shorter limbs, and don’t seem to offer anything besides what a typical wheelchair user would be looking for.
The stuff is cute though – so much so that I found myself shopping…
Again, it’s not clear to me how helpful any of these items would be for a typical woman with Down syndrome… they don’t seem to have adaptions made for limb differences or much in the way of adjustment possibilities. They only had one dress and one skirt featured on their site – and the skirt was sold out. But it was all cute.
So, all in all, I’m going to say it’s a solid start.
I’m looking forward to seeing an expanded line that more people across the disability spectrum will identify with and feel represents them and their particular needs and interests. I’m looking forward to expanded lines from both the kids and women’s departments – and for the men’s department to get started!
I am definitely encouraged however, that a major retailer such as Target sees the need and value in adaptive clothes, recognize the purchasing potential from our community and are aiming for us.