STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — As the annual Stephanie's Day approaches in just a few days, one attending company is helping special needs kids of all ages fit in through jeans.
Stephanie's Day is an annual resource fair for children impacted by autism and other special needs, where families can congregate to enjoy activities and gather information. Related companies attend the fair each year, providing families with new ways their children can feel included.
One such company is ABL Denim, which looks to address the sensory issues found in many kids with autism through the production of special jeans.
Isabella Spoo, 6, is a fan of art, playing and dressing up. The sensory issues she experiences through her autism, however, prevent her from wearing jeans comfortably.
"(The sensory issues) make her focus so much on it, she's not able to be in the moment," mother Courtney Spoo said.
That issue has since become more manageable, after Spoo discovered ABL Denim, created by designer Stephanie Alves. The specially-designed jeans use a soft denim that has the feel of more of a sweat pant than jeans.
"You want the child to forget that they're wearing a piece of clothing," Alves said. "Some children, they can't stand anything touching their body. They don't even want a seam touching their body. The design is based on what parents asked for."
The jeans contain no metal zipper, no buttons, no inside pockets and fewer seams on the inside. Meanwhile, on the outside, the pants look like just a casual pair of jeans.
"You have to understand, with the limitations that people have when they have sensory issues because of autism or ADHD, you need to be able to make a piece of clothing that is much more comfortable to wear, and that is not irritating," Alves said.
"When people are saying that they're wearing jeans, and they've never been able to wear jeans, or at least not for a long time, it makes it all worthwhile," Alves said. "That's what it's all about."
Courtney says she is relieved to be able to put her daughter in play clothes now without experiencing the same old issues.
You can meet Alves and see the jeans for yourself at Stephanie's Day this Saturday. For more information on the Stephanie's Day event, click here.
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