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Weather appropriate clothing

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    How can you teach an independent adult what is the appropriate clothing for the weather of the day.


      The question has to be asked “Is it a case of they don’t know what the appropriate clothing is or They know what is “appropriate” clothing is and choose to wear what they want?”


        Hi Nancy,

        A question that I would be curious about would be if there are any sensory issues for the individual. How is their sense of hot and cold, when they were young were they the type of kid who always wanted short or long sleeves, do they find certain types of fabric or fit uncomfortable?

        I don’t know if the person has an i-pad or i-phone but there are a few apps that might be useful (iDress for example) there’s also a thermometer which shows the appropriate clothing for the temperature ( I haven’t used product myself but it looks like something that could be helpful to somebody who’s not quite sure of what to wear.

        If the person is somebody who can check the weather on their own, then a posted guide of what to wear based on the temperature might be something simple that could be helpful.

        good luck and best wishes,


        Thanks Cate for the website info. Very useful. Good thought Jennypink. I feel it is more not understanding numeral temperatures.


          Here are some suggestions from the Behaviour Therapists at Surrey Place Centre:

          I would say that the most effective way to teach this skill would be using visual aids – having an activity/game with pictures and teaching the individual to sort multiple examples of clothing (pictures) into the various weather categories per season. After they are able to do this reliably with pictures (and without prompting), they could sort actual pieces of clothing by season/weather in the natural environment, perhaps each morning when picking out their clothing. Obviously a mediator would be needed to teach the initial concepts, but they could be faded out later on when the client is able to choose the appropriate clothing independently.

          They may also want to consider (if possible) an antecedent approach. For example, going through the client’s wardrobe with her/him and packing up the winter clothes in a Tupperware container and storing it away for the summer. That way the response effort for wearing winter clothes is higher making it more likely that he/she will pick something out of their closet which only contains “weather appropriate” clothes.

          In addition, when sorting the clothes, the clothes storage containers could have visual prompts of the season i.e. Winter, and the clothes you might associate with that season i.e. hat, mittens, etc. this might help to identify and encourage the client to put each clothing article in its appropriate container.


          Thanks, Don. Some good ideas for the STEPS Program.

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