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Georgia’s New Wardrobe

Georgia is a happy-go-lucky teenager with a real mischievous streak. The eldest child of Kevin and Linda, she has been known, according to mum, to be a little loud on occasions.

Like many 16 year olds, Georgia enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming, going out for drives in the car and shopping with mum. Saturday morning activities such as ten pin bowling with a like-minded group of young people are part of her busy schedule.

While her intellectual age is probably around a 2–3 year old and she doesn’t speak, Georgia is very aware of what is said to her and can follow simple requests.

Georgia is reliant on her family for every day personal care and needs to be watched carefully as she is unaware of danger.

For many years now, Georgia has had the urge to take her clothes off as a result of her sensory processing difficulties.

The first solution the family tried was to approach a woman who made dance costumes. The costume maker came up with a ‘onesie’ style outfit. The all-in-one outfit certainly provided a solution as Georgia was unable to undress herself.

The family managed by using this sort of clothing for a number of years, paying commercial rates for making these outfits.

While the outfits served their purpose, there was a hitch. The outfits were always one colour and, put simply, didn’t look very ‘girlie’. The other downside to the all-in-ones was that Georgia had to be completely undressed to change her nappy, depriving her of any dignity as she entered adulthood.

Georgia’s mum, Linda, said, “I thought there must be a way to make Georgia look more like a young lady.”

A meeting was arranged with TAD volunteer Alan Stone and after asking a few questions, he came up with the idea of attaching an insert of fabric with a zipper going horizontally around Georgia’s stomach.

The zipper would form a connection between the top and the bottom, allowing them to transform an ‘off the rack’ product into an all-in-one outfit without actually looking like an all-in-one.

Linda was thrilled. “Having Georgia in normal clothes also helps remove some of the looks you get in public. People are naturally curious when you have a child with a disability – staring is part and parcel of it. Having Georgia look different with her all-in-ones didn’t help. At least now, Georgia blends in a bit more with society.”

The simple but clever design also meant that a variety of tops and bottoms could be easily interchanged with each other and Georgia can still keep the top area of her body covered while having her nappy changed.

I have been so excited to be able to go out and buy Georgia clothes. It is a connection between a mother and daughter when you can go clothes shopping together.

Three school outfits have been made and four casual weekend ones. At the time of printing, a few more are being planned.

Linda has nothing but praise for the help that TAD has given.

The wonderful thing is the way Alan has come up with a solution that it is not all that difficult for me to try. I can continue to make the outfits into one for Georgia in years to come.“

The final word is best left to Linda in summing up the important difference the help from TAD has made;

I was so passionate about TAD that I joined the Board for two years. I am constantly amazed at the solutions that are offered to people and how these sometimes simple solutions have such a huge impact on that person’s day to day living.”

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TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.