Gymnastics lessons give your child a healthy way to burn off energy while learning important character traits such as self-control that help them cope with a sensory processing disorder. However, children who are sensitive to certain sensory experiences sometimes find it hard to find a leotard that does not distract from their lessons. Fortunately, you can use these tips to find gymnastics leotards that your gymnast will love wearing as much as they enjoy turning flips.
Understand the Differences in Fabric
Leotards for gymnastics come in a variety of fabrics that all have different characteristics that influence your child's comfort. For instance, metallic fabrics are often used in competition leotards. However, a child who is over-responsive to sensations may find that the tightness of this fabric makes it hard to comfortably move their body, yet sensory seekers tend to enjoy the way that metallic fabric hugs their skin. Have your child try on different types of materials such as lycra and spandex to find one that fits their sensory needs.
Choose the Right Sleeve Length
Typically, leotards come in styles that include sleeveless, full length, or three-quarter sleeves. Sleeveless styles are not typically used during competitions, but your child may prefer them for practice if they do not like having material constricting their arms. Alternatively, a full-length sleeve is the ideal choice for helping children sense their body's movement in space as they learn new skills. If your child is sensory averse, you may also choose to have them practice in the same style of leotard that they are required to wear during competitions so that they get used to how it feels.
Follow Laundering Instructions
Once you find the perfect leotard, you want to keep it in the same condition that helps your child feel comfortable. Improper washing and drying procedures can cause certain fabrics to become scratchy or develop pills that rub against your child's skin. Check the laundering instructions on the tag or that are provided by the manufacturer and follow them exactly so that the flexible fabric stays soft.
For children with sensory processing disorders, clothing for sports can sometimes pose a few challenges. Fortunately, gymnastics leotards are designed to promote comfort during movement, which is exactly what children with sensory challenges need. By knowing how to search for the right features to fit your child's preferences, you can help them focus on improving their skills in each of their gymnastics lessons. For more information, talk to companies such as Dancers' Place.