Fall Fashion for the Child with Special Needs

Firefly scouted the hottest and coolest trends for children with special needs as the weather starts to turn a little chilly with hints of pumpkin spice drifting in the air and leaves falling gently to the ground.

Get our editor’s fashion picks from head to toe! With Fall right around the corner, you may be feeling a little beside yourself wondering how to make traditional sweaters, scarves and boots work for your child with special needs.

Never fear we have some great fashion trends that will add spark and a smile into the Fall season!

Sweedie Kids Infinity Scarfs

These bibs are incredibly stylish and are fantastic for back to school and crisp morning days. They are not only trendy but shy away from the traditional bandana bib style offering the child a more mature look.

Sweedie Kids Infinity Scarfs have the same quality and moisture resistant qualities that their bandana bibs do. The prints are fun and perfect for the growing child.

They retail for $18 per scarf and are a must have for your child’s fall clothing collection. They are guaranteed to keep your child both dry and stylish!

You can check out Sweedie Kids here.


Feejays are sweatpants with sherpa lined feet. They offer children with sensory challenges additional built in comfort while still keeping warm.

Feejays feet can flip up or down depending if you’re hot, need a little bit of breathing or need to be covered to keep those little toes warm.

The super plush fleece makes them an excellent choice to wear night or day and can be paired well with a hoodie, sweatshirt or long sleeved shirt to add that touch of personal style.

They make a great option to throw on quickly for an unexpected doctor’s appointment, or for a comfortable day of therapy or a playful school activity.

Versatile and comfortable you’ll want a few pair of these in your child’s fall collection. Feejays retail for $29.98 each and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

You can check out Feejays here.

Kickee Pants Denim Jacket with Sherpa Lining

Your child will both be stylish and in ultimate sensory heaven in this sherpa lined denim jacket. This is easily a fall favorite and goes well with your child’s favorite shirt and pants.

Comes both in girls and boys styles that even have cute embroidered patterns on the back to add a sweet personal touch.

This will easily become your child’s go to jacket for warmth on cozy cold days.

The denim jackets retail for $60 and are easy to wash and dry for messy days. Sizes range from 0-3 months to 10 years.

You can check out Kickee Pants here.

Target’s Cat & Jack Special Needs Line

Basics are always in. But here’s a fantastic twist.

Target’s new line offers clothing that has a typical feel with special needs elements such as added zippers, heat-transferred labels in place of tags, flat seamed options, and one-dimensional graphic tees with zip-off sleeves and side openings that make dressing easier expected to debut in the near future.

The line is fun and hip with great prints like unicorns and dinosaurs mixed with messages of kindness and strength.

Cat & Jack sensory-friendly pieces come in sizes XS-XL for Big Kids and 2T-5T in Toddler Sizes and the best part is the price point rangers from $4.50 to $7 to be easy on that special needs parent wallet!

You can check out Target’s new sensory-friendly line here.

Whether you are out shopping for back-to-school clothes, around the house lounging or just for some new outfits that your child with special needs will adore, keep these top trends in mind.

Happy shopping!

Firefly Loves Seenin

For this writer, I love shopping for other people; I think it’s so special, being able to find fun stuff that I know they will love.

One special needs mum did something amazing so that she could get her daughter exciting and stylish products to suit her needs.

That mum was Lucy Carr-Seaman, the founder of Seenin.

Seenin is a company that aims to provide outstanding products that provide comfort and style to their customers, those among us with additional needs.

Lucy Carr-Seaman’s daughter Hester is her inspiration.

Hester was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome at a very early age and Lucy quickly realised how difficult it was to find products for her daughter that were practical, which is obviously very important, but also stylish.

This mum’s passion for finding solutions for her daughter led to the founding of Seenin over 15 years ago!

Seenin is fantastic, I’m sure you’ll agree, here at Firefly we love it!

I’m going to share some of our tip top picks from Seenin with you now, maybe you’ll find something you or your little ones can’t do without!

Seenin’s kerchief range – This range has so many options!

Seenin supplies the classic kerchief range, side fastening kerchiefs, flip kerchiefs and neckerchews for those tiny teeth.

All of these styles are available in different colours or really cool patterns (my favourite is definitely the dino pattern, with the anchors in a close second place).

Firefly’s personal favourite is the new Bamboo Towelling range.

These kerchiefs are super soft and more absorbent than standard cotton kerchiefs, they’re also quick drying which is a big plus in our book!

Changing mats for children and adults – these mats are a dream!

They’re available in two sizes, so are suitable for a large age range.

You can get these mats in a bright cerise bink, a soothing teal, or a pretty raspberry colour; there’s the option of adding an extra layer if you think you should need it as well.

The best part? They roll up and can be slung over a shoulder or around a wheelchair handle, brilliant right?

Front Opening Sleepsuits – we think these are great!

Available in cotton jersey or fleece materials, depending on the season, these are a must have.

You can even get slipper socks in either material that can attach to a sleepsuit for full coverage and cosiness.

These sleepsuits unzip from the neck to ankle in 3 easy steps, this allows easy access for dressing and feeding, night or day and we love them!

We hope Lucy and her team keep rolling out these awesome products for all of the people they are keeping stylish and confident!

Do you use any of Seenin’s products?

Tell us about your experience, we love to hear your stories!

10 Songs that Should be in the Soundtrack to Your Life

Fast-paced music usually means something exciting is going on, while slow, somber music may signify something serious.

But who says we cannot have that in real life?

So bust out your headphones or turn up the speakers and play these 10 songs, all of which should be on the soundtrack to your life.

Walking on Sunshine

There’s a huge reason why this Katrina and the Wave’s hit is a must-have (if slightly overused) happy anthem.

From the energetic opening to the optimistic lyrics, one cannot help but walk with a smile while this number playing in their ears.

Staying Alive

Feeling like strutting your stuff down the street? Well, then get the right mood going by playing the Bee Gees’ classic “Staying Alive” before you head out.

Holding on to a Hero

If you need to get pumped up before a big event or just want to blow off some steam, nothing signifies a competitive spirit quite like Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding on for a Hero.”

The opening beats really get you going and doesn’t let up through the whole song.

Daydream Believer

For those in a dreamy daze, “Daydream Believer” from the Monkees is the perfect choice.

After all, what other song gives you the feeling of floating through clouds?

I Won’t Back Down

If you want to show someone you mean business, go with Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”


Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” is the prime example of a pick me up ballad that everyone needs in their soundtrack, especially since it celebrates what makes us all unique.

I Will Survive

There is a reason why Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is a classic karaoke staple; its universal language of not wanting to let someone bring you down applies to everyone.

Everybody Hurts

Sometimes we need a good cry, which is why having “Everybody Hurts” by REM in your soundtrack is key.

Just try listening to it without shedding a tear.

Keep Holding On

When you want to show someone special that you will always be there, then keep Avril Lavigne’s “Keep Holding On” on hand.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Of course, if you need something with a bit more kick to show them you care, use this classic tune from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Naturally, there are a lot of songs out there that can be included to the soundtrack of your life.

Which other ones can you think of?

Special Needs Clothing: Take the Drama Out of Dressing with Willow Bug

Designed and made in the UK, the Willow Bug collection is created with love, care and attention to guarantee unrivalled quality, durability and functionality.

Featuring everyday outerwear essentials for four year olds to teens from waterproof ponchos to wheelchair snugs, back-fastening jackets to wheelchair capes, the Willow Bug range offers function and form without compromising on style.

Created with comfort in mind, the styles are designed to be worn while sitting and are cut shorter at the back to ensure there’s no extra material to tuck away.  All of the products are seam sealed and fully waterproof and most are fleece lined for extra warmth.

Willow Bug was established towards the end of 2016 by sister and brother team, Jess Chippendale and Dom Murray.

Frustrated by the style limitations of available specialist clothing for her wheelchair-using daughter, Jess was presented with an opportunity when adaptive clothing company Able2wear were selling off their childrenswear range.

Following an extensive rebrand, new product lines and an injection of energy, colour and fun, Willow Bug was launched to much acclaim.

“My daughter Willow is like any other six-year-old; she’s a style conscious kid who likes to look good.

However, getting Willow dressed is a daily challenge and it’s hard to find clothing that can accommodate her disability and her wheelchair,” says Jess.

“We are on a mission to provide fun but functional clothing that is easy to put on in fantastic styles that kids are going to want to wear.”

Have your purchased a Willow Bug product? – We’d love to know what you think!

Keep Warm This Winter: Tips for Special Needs Families

It’s important to keep warm both at home and outside.

It can help reduce the risk of serious health problems or minimise the chance of exacerbating existing conditions.

You can start by making sure your home is warm

1. Have your heating system serviced or your chimney swept also check your water stopcock is working properly. If you rent your home make sure to ask your landlord as it is their responsbility.

2. Check your thermostat. The ideal temperature for a bedroom is 18°C (64°F) for the living room it is 21°C (70°F).

3. Don’t open your windows whilst the heat is on. Sounds simple but it’s surprising how many people put the heat on later in the day forgetting they had opened their bedroom windows in the morning. Remember to check your air vents as well.

4. Close your curtains. As soon as it gets dark draw your curtains to stop the heat getting out and the draughts coming in. You could also fit thermal linings as an extra measure.

5. Keep internal doors closed in your home in the winter. This helps keep the rooms warm and stops heat travelling to areas that don’t need to be as warm such as halls and landings.

Don’t forget to dress warm too!

1. Dress in several thin layers of clothing. Yes it’s futtery for nappy changes but this helps trap air and will keep your child warmer than one thicker layer.

2. Hats and scarves are important (if you can get your child to wear them). Don’t forget your own. Most heat is lost through the head and neck.

3. Wear tights under trousers when heading out. Boys too – H&M do a great range of boy tights available online. Or stick to navy, black or grey.

3. Use a wheelchair cover when out and about. We recommend BundleBean.

4. If your child’s condition allows it make sure to wear warm clothes in bed, layer up by adding a vest and socks. (You too!)

5. Don’t forget the fabrics! Wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics are best.

Christmas Night Outfit

It’s a magical time of year full of family traditions, decorations, and classic carols.

There are also the traditional Christmas pajamas!

Yes, that’s right, I love to see my kids in matching or coordinated Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.

I used to have a difficult time justifying the cost of two pair of pajamas that were specially purchased for one night of the year, but trust me- the kids will wear them until it’s either too hot for fleece holiday pants or they no longer fit.

Our daughter was definitely wearing hers in March of last year.

(No judgement please)

The sight of our son and daughter snuggled up together in their adorable pajamas is worth it to me, so here are a whole bunch of options if you want to make this part of your family’s Christmas tradition as well.

Or maybe you already do!

This is a great time of year to shop for your Christmas pajamas because all of the holiday sales are beginning online.  Some of the sites listed below have offers for 25%-30% off, or free shipping, so load those carts with jammies for all!

Old Navy has some really cute and reasonably priced holiday pajama options, and they are offering 30% off at the time of this post.

The discount offers will vary and continue until Christmas, so don’t worry if you miss the 30% off offer.

And the reindeer slippers – so cute!

GAP also has some slightly more expensive but equally adorable kids’ pajama choices.

They are offering 25% off at the time of this post, but as I mentioned above, the sales will continue so check for deals!

Target has some great holiday pajama options, and I especially like the Burt’s Bees organic sets.

Target is also offering a buy 1 get 1 50% off deal.

Gymboree’s patterns are darling this year, but my favorites are a matching plaid nightgown and pajama set!

And, because they are entirely too precious not to include, I have noticed an elf and santa 2-piece pajama set from Crazy8.

What a shame it would be to leave the grown-ups out of this fun Christmas Eve tradition!

I personally think the adult one-piece footie pajamas are a bit hideous (and my husband would second that).

But, should you desire your own pair of holiday pajamas, here are some cute options to have a think about.

Dunnes Stores Launch Clothing Range for Kids with Special Needs (Ages 3-14)

The range is available exclusively online and includes –

Girls, boys & unisex short sleeved bodysuits priced at £4-£5 each.

Girls, boys & unisex short sleeved sleepsuits priced at £7-£8 each.

Girls, boys & unisex long sleeve body suits priced at £4-£5 each.

Girls, boys & unisex long sleeve sleep suits priced at £8 each.

All the items listed above are available in ages 3 through to 14.

The girls print is pale print stripe, the boys a pale blue stripe and the unisex, a grey star print.

The range is available to order online with free delivery on all orders over £40 or a free click and collect service from their 132 stores across the UK & Ireland.

We found the range by typing ‘vests’ in to the Dunnes search function.


Dunnes is the first large retailer to offer a range of, ‘poppered’, clothing up to the age of 14. Well done, Dunnes!

Special Needs Vests

This month, we have focused on popper vests for older children.

Our panel is trialling a selection of popper vests, bodysuits and sleepsuits from Marks & Spencer, Wonsie and Rackety’s.

It is very common for babies and younger children still in nappies to wear popper vests.

However, when children with additional needs out grow the popper vests which are widely and cheaply available up to the age of 3 in most supermarkets and clothing stores, parents often struggle to source similar vests or bodysuits for older children.

There are many reasons why parents and carers prefer to continue to use the poppered vests rather than standard vests with their children still in nappies these can include comfort & warmth to hide nappies as well as to prevent stripping, nappy dipping, smearing and eating poo.

Annabel McMahon from Rackety’s commented, ‘These are very common problems but each parent who experiences them for the first time feels very isolated, they don’t realise how common the problem actually is.’

According Annabel, Rackety’s customers report three main reasons why their products are so invaluable:

1. Keeping warm, comfortable, dry, dignified, hiding nappies once children (and adults) are past the standard age for being dry.

2. Preventing hands in nappies, inappropriate behaviour in public, keeping a child from playing with their poo and smearing.

3. Tube access, this works both ways, the problem of allowing parents access to the tubes, especially in public, and the reverse problem of keeping the kids from pulling at the tubes or worse still tugging them out so they have to go back to hospital and have further surgery.

If you use any of these, which poppered vests, bodysuits and sleepsuits worked best?

Special Clothing for Special People

Manipulating buttons, zippers, and snaps can pose quite a problem for many individuals with special needs who would like to become more independent by being able to dress themselves.

Likewise, parents of children with disabilities and special needs who may never be capable of dressing themselves, often find trying to dress their children in clothing designed for the non-disabled to be difficult and cumbersome

Those with sensory processing disorders can find standard clothing irritating and uncomfortable.

Seams, certain fabrics, and tags can make traditional clothing a nightmare for people with sensory processing issues

For these individuals, adaptive clothing may prove to be very helpful!

Adaptive clothing is specialized clothing designed with the unique needs of individuals who may not have full range of motion, the ability to dress themselves, or who have sensitive sensory systems.

Modifications made to  traditional clothing designs could include:

Replacing buttons and shoelaces with velcro

Placing closures on the back rather than the front of garments

Front closing bras

Side opening pants

Clothing made with special fabrics

Seamless socks

Tagless shirts

Weighted vests

Compression leggings

If you or someone you know could benefit from adaptive clothing and would like to purchase some specialized garments, here are a few tips to keep in mind while shopping:

  • If you are shopping for someone else, be sure you know what types of modifcations that person needs and wants, their size, and color preference.
  • Also, try to take that person along with you if possible, so they can pick out clothing that appeals to them.
  • Make sure the items you choose are similar to the popular styles you see people wearing today.
  • Be sure the article of clothing is sturdy and made to last, so look for high quality fabrics.
  • Look for soft fabrics


Below are a few resources for Adaptive Clothing:

For a list of special needs clothing resources please see this list on The Disability Information and Resources website.

For a list of special needs fashions for children, check out the list on the Children with Special Needs website

Adaptaware: Clothing for Care (UK)

Rackety’s: Clothing for children and adults with disabilities

Adaptive Clothing Showroom: Clothing for disabled adults and children

Tommy Hilfiger’s Runway of Dreams: Adaptive clothing for kids

Tummy Tunnels: Clothing for kids with feeding tubes

More resources for kids with feeding tubes

Silvert’s: Wheel chair clothing for men and women

Kozie Clothes: Adaptive medical and sensory clothing

EZ Sox and Undeez: Socks and underwear for sensory kids

Independence Day Clothing: Adaptive clothes for teens, tweens, and young adults