A Backward Solution | Milan
A teen on the autism spectrum, Milan (not his real name) faces behavioural issues that his teacher hoped could be deterred through apparel design. Knowing of our #BeTheDifference initiative, the teacher reached out and introduced us to Milan and his mother.
A Trail of Torn Jumpsuits
One of Milan’s trickier behavioural tendencies is the habit of smearing faeces on the wall whenever he defecates. Through a series of trial and error, his mother actually came across a solution that worked – a jumpsuit. A jumpsuit would limit his hand’s access and help him curb this habit.
There was only one problem – the jumpsuits available to Milan were easily torn. His mother even tried asking for recommendations at markets and buying various fabrics herself to sew a stronger jumpsuit. But, to no avail. What we realized while exploring with them is that the torn jumpsuits had wider weaves, making them easy to tear. With this discovery, we decided to work with fabrics that had tight weaves that would create a sturdier-than-usual jumpsuit.
Adapting to Milan
While most of our designs involve using zippers to improve accessibility, the goal of Milan’s jumpsuit was actually the opposite. The jumpsuit’s zipper was intentionally placed at the back, out of Milan’s reach so that his caregiver would be the only one with access. Although not ideal, this is the first step towards behavioural change for Milan.
One other factor to consider in our design was that Milan has uneven shoulders due to scoliosis, and clothes often look lopsided on his shoulders, which also creates an unnatural drape across the front bodice. For that, we tailored the jumpsuit to fit his body shape just right and gave it a tidy look.
Caregivers as Problem Solvers
Milan’s mother played a really big part of our design process. Her own trials and errors gave us critical insights when designing for Milan. In fact, she was constantly problem-solving and always on the lookout for potential solutions as a caregiver. This is why we believe that in any of our custom solutions, one’s caregiver is an indispensable part of the picture.
Seeking Jumpsuit 2.0
Since Milan's old jumpsuits are all worn out now, he only has one proper piece to wear for his daily needs. Milan and his mother is currently seeking another Well Wisher to contribute through #BeTheDifference and help them receive a second piece of customised jumpsuit. This would greatly relieve Milan’s caregiver from the stress of not having a jumpsuit to wear due to the lapse of time from washing and drying.
If you’d like to help Milan and his mother as a Well Wisher on #BeTheDifference, please fill in and submit the form here!
#BeTheDifference is a Will & Well initiative that aims to make a difference by reaching out to those who would benefit the most from our apparels. We do this by connecting Well Wishers who want to give back to society and beneficiaries nominated by the people who know them. #BeTheDifference is a partnership that blooms with your generosity and kindness.