Florence Dickson: Sewing to Success

Ireland is currently in its third Covid-19 lockdown, and we all have our fingers crossed there won’t be a fourth. The vast majority of people are ill-equipped to be stuck at home for hours upon hours. Humans are social creatures, and we crave the physical interaction that comes from caressing a cup of coffee conjured up by our favourite barista while talking nonsense with our closest and dearest. We miss the camaraderie of walking through a turnstile to watch a live event and all the banter and craic that comes with being a spectator or a participant. We’ve binge-watched every library across every streaming platform, and every one of us is now a Masterchef in our kitchen.

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Helen Sandison: The Seam-Less Journey

When Helen Sandison of Mullingar based Sensory Clothing moved over to Kerry from the UK in 2007 with her husband Rudi, she couldn’t understand why her two-year-old child kept telling her that he didn’t like his clothes, especially his socks. It became normal for him to hide behind their sofa and then pop out with his clothes off. However, like most first-time parents – Helen just thought that it was something that he would eventually grow out of. A year later, her second child arrived, and she found herself juggling the needs of a new baby while battling with a toddler over his dislike of clothes. “I did wonder whether I had been pandering to my son, but nevertheless I took him to the doctor’s because I knew there was something wrong. You could call it a mother’s intuition. My son was tested for Autism (ASD) but we were told that he simply had some little quirks and wasn’t on the Autism Spectrum itself. I just had to cope with his meltdowns over the clothing.” It turned out that Helen’s son has a neurological condition called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which is often misdiagnosed as ASD because many children with ASD have sensory issues or difficulties. However, as in the case of Helen’s child, SPD was a standalone condition.

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