Every day we experience an overload of sensory stimuli: we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste a lot. Whenever our brain has a hard time filtering and processing all those stimuli, this can lead to overstimulation. Children who are highly sensitive, have ASD, ADHD, mental limitations, or brain injuries are particularly sensitive to this. Coping with constant stimuli can be exhausting and as a consequence cause stress, difficulty concentrating, or even learning disabilities.
An Luyten, Founder
SAM was founded from the personal experience of founder An Luyten who was looking for fun clothing for her highly sensitive son. Clothing designed to limit sensory stimuli was hard to find, and it became obvious that other parents were struggling to find the right clothing for their kids as well. That is why An decided to get to work and develop SAM, her own label of sensory-friendly clothing that also looks good. The collection has no sensible seams, itching labels, or other aggravating elements, thus compensating or dampening the overload of sensory stimuli.
Photography by fiks-studio.be
“Finally a soft design, quality in color and fabric, with the promised effect; namely really and literally seamless. This means getting dressed without tears. The mornings when SAM is the outfit for the day for our little man is no longer a battle, full of frustration or chagrin, but instead palpably peaceful.” Says Mom Sarah Thomassen.
For those who need extra stimuli, SAM has a solution that can be added to the clothes. Accessories to bite, fidgets or weighted add-ons contribute to better process stimuli and result in the children having less stress and for them to concentrate better.
Fashionable, wearable, wellbeing
The sustainable clothing of SAM has a big and positive impact on the wellbeing of sensory-sensitive children. The brand positions itself at the cross-section of fashion and healthcare, taking on a unique position in the market.
All SAM’s products are developed in Belgium in close collaboration with experts. Child psychologists, ergotherapists, and coaches for people with autism provide ongoing feedback, thus contributing to the successful creation of sensory-friendly clothing and accessories.
“We developed a scientific method to test SAM’s designs and research if and how this clothing line can make a real difference for sensory-sensitive children. In order to do so, we put together a team of experts who looked at the designs and fabrics in detail and also let highly sensitive children try out the products.” Says Prof. dr. Wim Tops – Coordinator of Therapy Practice De Kronkel and Professor of Clinical Psychology
A bright future
Today, SAM focuses on products for children ages 4 to 16. Because of high demand, a clothing line for adults will be developed as well.
SAM’s success is also not limited to its home country Belgium; there is an increasing interest in sensory-friendly clothing from abroad.
“Calming Kids Australia is very proud to be the Australian distributor of the SAM Sensory Clothing. I was so excited when contacted by An as we have such a need for beautifully made and designed clothing, made from the heart and with first-hand experience on children’s sensory needs.
Making life a little easier for sensory kids is what SAM is all about and finally having someone who understands and cares will make all the difference.” Adds Diana Young – Calming Kids Australia.