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My 3 year old grandson changes his clothes every ten minutes.

He even puts his baby sister's dresses and t-shirts and socks on.

He came down with five t-shirts on yesterday and even chases his friends around until they give him their t-shirts/jumpers. Its all the time; every ten minutes.

Is this normal or could he be autistic or something?

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  • Typical? no. "Normal"? Who's to say? – DA01 Aug 30 '13 at 22:29
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    Autistic children will often strip out of their clothes because they are very sensitive to tags and rough fabrics, but your grandson is putting clothes ON. Autistic children also sometimes have very repetitive behaviors - your grandson's behavior is too varied to be described as repetitive. So while I cannot say what causes this behavior and whether it is normal, it doesn't really sound like autism. He may just be enjoying his mastery of the skill of being able to dress himself. Are there other behavioral issues at all? How long has he been doing this? – MJ6 Aug 31 '13 at 4:01
  • Related: parenting.stackexchange.com/q/4142/5026 – SQB Feb 17 '14 at 21:20
  • If they think dressing in outfits is fun, sure, why not? – PoloHoleSet Aug 30 '16 at 20:06
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No it isn't normal, in the sense that most kids don't do that. However, just because a child does something that isn't normal, it doesn't immediately mean they are autistic.

Perhaps he likes the feel of clothes moving on his skin?

You don't say what you or the parents are doing to stop him doing this? If you are not doing anything, why should he stop?

Our daughter who is now 8 will occasionally get changed 3 or 4 times in a day. We tell her not to, because the clothes end up messy / will need washing or ironing. It sounds to me that your grandson is treating clothes as toys. Perhaps he just needs to be gently told that this isn't the case?

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Kids can have amusing habits and behaviours, especially when learning and exploring something new. As your grandson is 3, I imagine that he has only recently been able to change his clothing fully unassisted, so it could just be the novelty of having a new outfit. In all likelihood it will pass.

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It is certainly normal for children this age to change, or try to change, their clothes. Parents who say they don't probably pay a lot of attention to not letting them do so. If left to their own devices, they will change their clothes on and off throughout a day. This is perfectly normal.

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