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Top tips for a quick uniform change at high school

The transition into high school can be a big move for teens. We have been asked some specific questions about the new challenges that high school can bring and we are going to address them in our blog.

One particular question we thought might be helpful for a lot of people is that we have been asked for some tips and advice for teens with cerebral palsy hemiplegia on getting changed in and out of formal school uniform into sports uniform.

We spoke to our occupational therapists to get the best tips. You can also book in with any of our therapists for a more individual plan and to get you ready for any big changes.

Make a plan at home first! Before the day when you have to get changed in school, take some time at home or with your OT to work out the process. Try changing out of your school uniform and into your sports uniform. Then when you have trouble, you can work out the solution before you are in the changeroom.

Practice at home. Once you have your plan, it’s important to practice to be efficient and fast when you are at school.  

Always look after your hemiplegia side first when getting dressed and last when you are getting undressed. Dress first and undress last

Loops. We recommend that material loops be sewn into clothing like socks, pants, etc to make it easier to pull them on.

Shoes can tricky! You can learn to tie laces one handed, use adaptive laces or look at hyper adaptive shoes with no ties like the Nike Flyease that were developed in partnership with a teen with cerebral palsy. There is an app call Ian’s Laces – how to tie and lace shoes that has some helpful tips. If you want to use laces, there are the adaptive laces like Lock Laces that use a pull system instead of tying. It’s best to try them and find the one that works for you.

Zips and buttons can be a challenge. You can purchase pants with fake zips and Velcro or elastic waists instead.

A chair and extra time. For some, having somewhere to sit and get changed helps with the process, or even a wall to lean on for extra balance. And it’s OK to ask for extra time to get changed or let your teacher of your next class know that it might take you a little longer to get to class. Teachers can be pretty accommodating.

Socks. Adding a small hidden loops can help pull up socks and getting them over the toes. Nylon socks are easier to use than cotton. And we recommend getting socks with coloured heels and toes to help with placement.

We are here to help you with being prepared for all situations in life, whether it’s getting changed at school, or you need to learn a new skill. Contact one of our friendly team at your local Cerebral Palsy Alliance facility