Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Top five tips for helping autistic kids in wet weather with giveaway

Boy in a coat in a park with a grey sky over head - Top five tips for helping autistic kids in wet weather

We used to think Anthony didn't like rainbows because rainbows in the sky meant it was raining. Anthony used to hate the rain.  He said it hurt his face and he'd do anything to be out of it.  He used to be scared of getting out of the car if it was wet outside.  Now though we do much better and part of that is down to him learning about it and getting some things to help him in the wet.

Some kids love splashing around in the rain and in puddles and others, like Anthony did, don't. It's all to do with how we process the feelings and sensations.  For some kids, including many with autism, processing how the rain feels is difficult and for others it's the greatest feeling in the world, to be explored again and again.  Either way, we want our kids to be able to go out when we need them to without becoming hysterical.  So here's our tips.

1. A coat that works for your kid

Obvious really, it's raining so we should put our coats on.  But not all kids coats, suit all kids.  Some kids will like the feeling of a full puffy jacket and others will want something lighter.  A raincoat can sometimes feel stiff or make loud crinkly noises that some kids won't like. If you are looking to develop independence skills, poppers may be better than zips or toggles.

Lastly, don't forget the hood. Make sure it's soft and comfortable.  Some hoods are skip like and will offer further protection from rain on sensitive faces.  Our David won't have his hood up at all - because that's not how he is used to wearing his coat.  I found waterproof beanie and pom-pom hats offer similar protection to a hood but can be an additional accessory too.

If they can't stand getting wet at all, you might want to think about a full kids rain suit to keep them dry.

2. Keep their feet dry

Easier said than done with kids running around and jumping in puddles, or like my lot, simply not watching where they step.

Usually our ADHD and ASD son struggles with wellington boots.  They flop around on his feet, but these ones have slip in liners that keep his feet firmly in place so he doesn't fall or tire as easily.

We can't get wellington boots on our younger son at all - he wears shoes, the same ones all the time. He feels safe in the same shoes when he goes out.  It's pretty common for autistic kids to want to wear their same shoes, even if the weather is different.

However, we can get him into comfortable waterproof socks like these from Dexshell.  Waterproof, breathable with a bamboo liner they keep feet as dry as they can be when out in the wet.

Boy in red wellington boots jumping in a park with a grey sky over head - Tip five tips for helping autistic kids in wet weather


3. Let them know what's going to happen

Sometimes it's less about the rain and more about understanding what's going on.  Kids with autism won't always necessarily pick up on the same social cues that others will as to what's going to happen.

A child may actually be fine going out in the rain if they know it's to go to the toy store, Grandma's house or whatever else.  Think about how you would best communicate with your child, whether PECS or otherwise, about what's going to happen, give them notice and they may be fine about going out, even in the rain.

4. Think about sound

Remember that crinkly coat?  And have you heard rain hammering on the path?  All these noises can be heightened if you are a child with autism or sensory processing difficulties. And it's not just the wet rain, I've seen the same thing when it's windy too.

A waterproof hat may help with this, especially if it was under a hood. Kids ear muffs or ear defenders may work for others.   Go for whatever interests you child.  Anthony wouldn't wear any until we presented him with super hero ear muffs and then it worked.  Appealing to a special interest can help.

5. On the go

For some, being caught off guard in the rain is a meltdown moment. Carrying a kids poncho or other light waterproof can help when kids get upset by a sudden down pour.  Sometimes it's just enough to know that 'we do this' when it rains.

However, try not to surprise a child with their poncho - make sure you practice putting it on a few times and explain why it might be used before it's first outing.  That way it will be something familiar and a help, not something strange and further cause for anguish.

... and finally one last suggestion..

Don't be afraid to change plans!  Although we often go places when the weather looks grey for hope that it will be a bit quieter, if the weather is really bad we'll cancel plans.  We've learned that there is no point in pushing through when we are done for the day, whatever the reason.  Best just to make sure an autistic child knows you are going before you leave, so they understand what's happening.

What tips do you have?


Win a waterproof kids hat

I loved the idea of these so much, I've organised and am delighted to host a giveaway with Dexshell for one of their waterproof kids hats (some examples below). Enter via Rafflecopter below.



Conditions: UK  Residents only. Entrants must be aged over 18.  Entry is via Rafflecopter.  Entries can be made up until midnight on Friday 16th February 2018.  One winner will be chosen from all valid entries at random the day after closing.  The winner will be contacted within a week of the closing date and have one week to respond.  The Prize is one kids waterproof hat from Dexshell (chosen and sent direct from Dexshell).  An alternative product of similar or higher value may be sent if stock is unavailable.  No cash alternative. 



When I contacted Dexshell they kindly sent us some of their waterproof items for purpose of review.  
Our family is happy to recommend them and include them in our posts. 

Listed on:


Rachel Bustin SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways

67 comments:

  1. mine have waterproof trousers and jackets for puddle jumping :)

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  2. Waterproofs are essential - invest in the best - they do last

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  3. Lots of great ideas here, I agree with them all! :)

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  4. usually wellingtons, raincoat with hood and brolly

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  5. Start with base layers, then a very good mid-layer such as a micro-fleece, gilet or a soft-shell jacket and then add outer layers which are coats and waterproof trousers. Add hats, gloves and waterproof footwear such as lined wellies or snow boots.

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  6. We always wear waterproof jackets

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  7. I don't have any children but would love to win this prize to donate to charity, to go to Romania.

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    1. Sure - that is a fantastic idea. I love it!

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  8. good wellies and clothing

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  9. Waterproofs are essential ,jackets and trousers and a decent hat

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  10. I think these tips could be used with every child. I especially like the one about being done for the day - sometimes its best to just admit you would be better off adjusting your plans, instead of stubbornly pushing on.
    #accesslinky

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    1. I agree! It's not a failure to know when it's time to go - that's a success!

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  11. This is a brilliant list.
    My kids are the opposite, in that both love all weathers, especially my sensory girl! She's a huge sensory seeker and loves the feel of the rain on her face and wind in her hair so good waterproofs are essential! However she does feel the cold so we do a lot of layering of clothes to try and keep warm and dry.
    J is a wheelchair user, so we love our bundle bean showerproof wheelchair cover and I also keep a poncho in my bag to pop over her and the chair if it's really wet! Also if it's really chilly we sometimes pop a microwaveable warmer lion on her lap under the bundlebean :-)
    Thank you for joining up with #accesslinky

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    1. So true - even the kids that love the wet weather need to stay dry or they'll get cold and go home sooner! Thanks for hosting the #accesslinky xxx

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  12. Lots of great tips and love the hats too :) #kcacols

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  13. Really great tips. Keep kids dry in wet weather is a necessity. #KCACOLS

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  14. Those hats are adorable! Great tips especially for those of us who live in the tropics.
    And it's the monsoon season now!

    #KCACOLS

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  15. Some really helpful tips here. I didn't know you could get waterproof socks, and these are actually be ideal for my family so I'm going pick some up. I live in Wales so we certainly get plenty of rain! #KCACOLS

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  16. Really helpful tips here. Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

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  17. Waterproof hats are a great idea - I know so many children who don't like the rain. #KCACOLS

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  18. Really useful tips! There are lots of kids who hate the rain, luckily my two seem to love it. #KCACOLS

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  19. some lovely tips and something i'd really never thought of in terms of autism and wet weather. #KCACOLS

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  20. I learnt the hard way that my children DO NOT like sharing umbrellas, so I always keep two umbrellas in the car to keep them dry on rainy days, otherwise world war 3 starts!

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  21. I would never have thought about the impact that the the sound of raindrops could have on an autistic child. Thank you for sharing. Pen x #KCACOLS

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  22. Good quality raincoats and wellies, an umbrella each and lots of activities in the rain so they love it :)

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  23. my nephew hates the wind and often wears ear muffs. these hats look fab. #KCACOLS

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  24. great information here and a good reminder that for some simple things that many of us take for granted are challenging #KCACOLS

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  25. What a great idea for waterproofing - using bamboo!

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  26. This is great. My nephew and my friends little girl both have ADHD and really struggle with wet weather for various reasons. #kcacols

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  27. Lovely hats to win! I love pompoms! #brillblogposts

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  28. Some great tips here, and those waterproof socks seem brilliant! Our Penguin likes to have his hood up, if the weather gets annoying (too windy, too wet, or too cold). It also works as a great way for him to screen off surrounding input for a while, for other things than weather too. And I'm all for changing plans if the conditions aren't right on the day 👍x
    #AccessLinky

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  29. Try not to go out in very wet weather but if you have to always wrap up in waterproof clothing, nothing worse than being wet right through and freezing

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  30. We love out door adventures i have an active 5yr old son and we would love to keep him warm and dry when we are exploring!

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  31. I love the last point. This weekend just gone I was adamant we were going out together - whatever the weather, but as the rain hammered down I realised sometimes you just have to accept defeat!
    Great giveaway - I have entered ;-)
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub
    x MMT

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  32. Any tried & tested waterproof clothing that isn't "scratchy"

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  33. Great ideas and a really informative post, thank you
    Mainy
    #KCACOLS

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  34. Love the idea of a waterproof hat! Dex is always getting his head wet when we go out!

    #KCACOLS

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  35. Lots of helpful ideas. My little boy isn't autistic but has very specific ideas about what clothes he will and won't tolerate, this could partly be to do with his eczema or because he overheats, I'm not sure. Today he wore his spare coat and he was not happy at all with the hood and the way it felt on his face. He just couldn't cope with it :( #kcacols

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  36. Some great tips here. I used to work with children with autism and learnt to change my expectations on windy days as it really affected them, even when we were indoors. #KCACOLS

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  37. Love this range of waterproof clothing, my tips are buying all in one suits. My boys would come home sodden otherwise

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  38. Thanks for joining us at #LuckyLinky x

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  39. We have waterproof all-in-ones for the children and they wear them with wellies. A big umbrella for me.

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  40. Some fab tips here. I've not heard of waterproof socks before so will check them out. #KCACOLS

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  41. Always a waterproof coat with a hood, gloves, scarfs and hats! Also, if it is rainy, we try to always have an umbrella and layer up if possible! If these items are waterproof, it really helps! Fingers crossed! :)

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  42. A good friend of mine's little guy is also autistic but LOVES rain. To the point where she's been known to stand in the garden at 2am in the rain with him so he can calm down and finally sleep. I will definitely send this to her so she can peruse your tips. #KCACOLS

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  43. Kids can be very difficult when it comes to wearing the right clothes for the weather! Mine love to have their hoods down when it's raining and let their hair get wet! They drive me mad! I don't have experience of autistic children but these are some great tips to make outings that bit easier x #kcacols

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  44. The liners for the boots sound like a great idea.
    #KCACOLS

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  45. I am usually the umbrella holder. My younger two girls hate the feel of wellington boots so refuse to wear them so unfortunatley their footwear spends more time drying on the radiators than on their feet but its all part and parcel of being their mum. Love the fact the hats are not rubbery material

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  46. must have a waterproof coat and hat with wellies

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  47. Great advice here! I think wet weather can be difficult for children full stop, I know mine are never happy when they get wet and cold! #KCACOLS

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  48. Wrap up well in waterproofs and tall boots because I can never stop them splashing in every puddle!

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  49. Up North its mandatory during winter months for wellies, raincoat, scarf, gloves and for the kids I always make sure they have vests and thick socks on. They should then be wrapped up against the rain and snow we have been getting!

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  50. Umbrellas and waterproof coats and wellies

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  51. Great tips! Keeping kids warm and dry in the wet and cold is essential to prevent meltdowns! #KCACOLS

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  52. My daughter has similar issue with clothes and shoes and if she doesn't like something or has her heart set on wearing a specific thing she won't change it regardless of the weather. She is getting better as she gets older but you are so right with making sure your kids are comfortable and happy with what they have on especially in rain #kcacols

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  53. We usually wrap up in waterproof coats

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  54. Read in interest for my other half's 5 year old cousin who has autism. Some really useful tips and love the waterproof hat! #KCACOLS

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  55. I really had no idea about most of this! Your post has made me realise just how naive I am to the differences in children and the complex needs of children with autism. Keep educating people, you’re doing a great job! #KCACOLS

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  56. They say there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing - I quite like that saying! #KCACOLS

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  57. We have all in one rainsuits. Particularly cute on the kids!! #KCACOLS

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  58. Posts like this one are so very informative and give me such a greater underdstanding of autism. Thank you! xo #kcacols

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I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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