Getting dressed in the morning comes easy for most people. But for 17 year-old Liam, the son of former financial news anchor Lauren Thierry, getting dressed is still a struggle. This is because Liam has severe autism, which hinders his fine and gross motor skills.
Thierry explained to ABC News that if your child can’t dress themselves, they can’t “get out of the house.” In other words, being able to dress yourself is one of the first and most crucial steps to living independently.
Her son’s disability inspired Thierry to start Independence Day Clothing, a fashion line designed for people with physical handicaps and cognitive disabilities. She wants others like Liam to be able to dress themselves unaided and blend in with the crowd.
Thierry had no prior experience in fashion before starting the clothing line, but having dressed Liam for years, she understands kids with similar needs. Her mission was to get her son to dress in something more presentable than his uniform of baggy sweatpants and a “monochrome t-shirt that may or may not be inside out.”
She worked with a designer to create fashionable clothing so that Liam could dress like everyone else. But since he has difficulty getting dressed alone, she designed the clothing without buttons, zippers, tags, or laces.
The clothes are not specifically geared toward males or females, and they are also reversible. That way, it won’t look like someone is wearing them backwards. Since people with autism have sensory issues, she made the clothing with a super soft fabric so that it would not be difficult or uncomfortable to put on.
There is also an option for parents to install a GPS device into their children’s clothing. Though Thierry realizes that this may be controversial, she claims that these devices can help parents find children who tend to wander off or get lost easily.
The overall response to Independence Day Clothing has been overwhelmingly positive. Thierry said that she will soon release clothes in children’s, extra-large, and double-extra-large sizes.
You can find more information and order clothing for your child on the company’s website:
By Nina Bergold