Title:
Pajama suit for autistic children
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Wearing apparel which helps to manage autistic children by preventing them from removing the wearing apparel once they are placed in the wearing apparel. The wearing apparel is made from a soft cotton material and has an opening through which the wearing apparel is placed onto or removed from the child. The opening is the only way the wearing apparel can be donned or removed. A closure mechanism allows the opening to be open for passage of the child into or out of the wearing apparel when in the open configuration and to close the opening to prevent the passage of the child into or out of the wearing apparel when in the closed configuration. The closure is located where the child cannot reach it once the wearing apparel is donned whereby once the child is dressed, the child cannot disrobe.



Inventors:
Hyman, Verna (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Joyce, Christy (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
12/213594
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/23/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/83
International Classes:
A41D11/00; A41D10/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul R. Martin, Paul Richard Martin (Oakland, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Wearing apparel for autistic children comprising: A) a leg covering portion; B) a trunk covering portion, the leg covering portion being fixedly connected to the trunk covering portion in a manner such that the leg covering portion and the trunk covering portion are a unit and the leg covering portion cannot be removed from the autistic child without first opening the trunk covering portion; C) an opening in the trunk covering portion though which the autistic child passes to enter or leave the trunk covering portion, the trunk covering portion being one piece so the opening is the only means for the autistic child to enter or leave the trunk covering portion whereby the only way the autistic child can remove the trunk covering portion and the leg covering portion is to move through the opening in the trunk portion; D) a closure on the trunk covering portion adjacent to the opening, the closure being located in a section of the trunk covering portion that cannot be reached by the child wearing the trunk covering portion so the child cannot access the closure while wearing the trunk covering portion, and being the only means for opening and closing the trunk covering portion and being adapted to close the trunk covering portion when in a closed configuration and to open the trunk covering portion when in an open configuration whereby once the child is inside the trunk covering portion and the leg covering portion the child cannot by itself remove either the trunk covering portion or the leg covering portion.

2. The wearing apparel defined in claim 1 wherein the trunk covering portion includes a first section that is located adjacent to the child's chest when worn and a second section that is located adjacent to the child's back when worn, the closure being located in the second section of the trunk covering portion.

3. The wearing apparel defined in claim 1 wherein the closure is a zipper mechanism.

4. The wearing apparel defined in claim 1 further including feet covering portions on the leg covering portion.

5. The wearing apparel defined in claim 1 wherein the trunk covering portion includes an arm covering portion.

6. The wearing apparel defined in claim 1 wherein the leg covering portion and the trunk covering portion are a one-piece monolithic unit.

7. Wearing apparel for autistic children comprising: A) a trunk covering portion; B) a leg covering portion, the leg covering portion being fixed to the trunk covering portion to be unitary therewith so that an autistic child cannot can only leave the leg covering portion by first leaving the trunk covering portion; C) passage means on the trunk covering portion through which the autistic child enters and leaves the trunk covering portion; D) the passage means on the trunk covering portion, the trunk covering portion being one piece so the only means for the child to enter or leave the trunk covering portion consists entirely of the passage means, the passage means consisting entirely of (1) a single opening defined through the trunk covering portion, and (2) a closure on the trunk covering portion adjacent to the opening, the closure being the only means for opening and closing the opening in the trunk covering portion and being adapted to close the opening in the trunk covering portion when in a closed configuration and to open the opening in the trunk covering portion when in an open configuration, the closure being located so a child inside the trunk covering portion cannot obtain access to the closure whereby once the child is inside the trunk covering portion and the leg covering portion the child cannot by itself remove either the trunk covering portion or the leg covering portion.

8. The wearing apparel defined in claim 7 wherein the trunk covering portion includes a first section that is located adjacent to the child's chest when worn and a second section that is located adjacent to the child's back when worn, the closure being located in the second section of the trunk covering portion.

9. The wearing apparel defined in claim 7 wherein the leg covering portion and the trunk covering portion are a one-piece monolithic unit.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the general art of wearing apparel, and to the particular field of clothing specially adapted for autistic children.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Autism is a developmental disorder, which manifests itself during early childhood. Autism is a brain development disorder that impairs social interaction and communication, and causes restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old. This set of signs distinguishes autism from milder autism spectrum disorders (ASD) such as Asperger syndrome. In the autistic child, communications and social interactions are severely impaired. Unable to learn from the natural environment as most children do, the child with autism generally shows little interest in the world or people around him. Although some children with autism develop normally and even acquire advanced skills, most exhibit a wide range of behavioral problems. In reality, autism affects the way a person comprehends, communicates and relates to others.

Epidemiologic studies suggested a prevalence rate of autistic behavior of approximately 2 to 5 cases in 10,000; however, recent surveys including the entire spectrum of the disease indicate that rates of 15 per 10,000 are more accurate disease prevalence. Such figures indicate that this disorder affects four hundred thousand Americans, with significant social and public health costs.

Most recent reviews estimate a prevalence of one to two cases per 1,000 people for autism, and about six per 1,000 for ASD, with ASD averaging a 4.3:1 male-to-female ratio. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, at least partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved. As can be understood, thousands of children suffer from the effects of pervasive developmental disorders. In addition, thousands of parents and other relatives must provide care for those children. Those children who suffer from the severest forms of these disorders must now be institutionalized. This institutionalization imposes a large expense on the families of the children and on society for the care of those children.

Autism was originally thought to be primarily a psychiatric condition. However, further investigation showed that genetic and environmental factors are implicated in the pathogenesis of autism. The effects of environmental factors such as infections and toxic chemicals on gene expression result in biochemical, immunological and neurological disorders found in children with autism.

Autism is largely inherited, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is generally unclear which genes are responsible. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial and the vaccine hypotheses lack convincing scientific evidence.

Despite the substantial body of evidence implicating neurobiological factors in the pathogenesis, precise etiologic mechanisms of autism have yet to be identified. In the absence of a clear etiology, although both behavioral and medical interventions are available to improve learning and behavior, there is no evidence of a cure for autism, nor any efficient psychopharmacological treatments for the core symptoms.

Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is poorly understood. There is no clear biological marker of autism to allow early diagnosis or screening of this disease even though it is generally believed that early recognition and management is crucial in the prognosis. Parents usually notice signs in the first year or two of their child's life. Early intervention may help children gain self-care and social skills, although few of these interventions are supported by scientific studies. There is no cure. With severe autism, independent living is unlikely; with milder autism, there are some success stories for adults, and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder.

As late as the mid-1970s, there was little evidence of a genetic role in autism; now it is thought to be one of the most heritable of all psychiatric conditions. The rise of parent organizations and the destigmatization of childhood ASD have deeply affected how we view ASD, its boundaries, and its treatments. The Internet has helped autistic individuals bypass nonverbal cues and emotional sharing that they find so hard to deal with, and has given them a way to form online communities and work remotely. Sociological and cultural aspects of autism have developed: some in the community seek a cure, while others believe that autism is simply another way of being.

As was discussed above, autism is a developmental disorder of the human brain that first gives signs during infancy or childhood and follows a steady course without remission or relapse. Impairments result from maturation-related changes in various systems of the brain. Autism is one of the five pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), which are characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication, and severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior.

The manifestations of autism cover a wide spectrum, ranging from individuals with severe impairments, who may be silent, mentally disabled, and locked into hand flapping and rocking, to less impaired individuals who may have active but distinctly odd social approaches, narrowly focused interests, and verbose, pedantic communication. Sometimes the syndrome is divided into low, medium, and high functioning autism (LFA, MFA, and HFA), based on IQ thresholds, or on how much support the individual requires in daily life; these subdivisions are not standardized and are controversial.

Autism is characterized by a behavioral syndrome often recognized between two and three years of age. The core of the syndrome is a deviant and/or retarded development of cognitive capacities and skills necessary for social relations, communication, fantasy, and symbolic thinking. Almost all autistic children do not reach independence as adults and 75% are deemed mentally retarded. Many autistic children like to remove their clothing and can be difficult to keep them covered.

Caretakers as well as teachers often have a problem with such children. Therefore, there is a need for a means for preventing such children from removing their clothing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other objects are achieved by wearing apparel which helps to manage autistic children by preventing them from removing the wearing apparel once they are placed in the wearing apparel. The wearing apparel is made from a soft cotton material and has an opening through which the wearing apparel is placed onto or removed from the child. The opening is the only way the wearing apparel can be donned or removed. A closure mechanism allows the opening to be open for passage of the child into or out of the wearing apparel when in the open configuration and to close the opening to prevent the passage of the child into or out of the wearing apparel when in the closed configuration. The closure is located where the child cannot reach it once the wearing apparel is donned whereby once the child is dressed, the child cannot disrobe.

One form of the wearing apparel includes a pajama suit made from a soft cotton material and will zipper up in the back. With the zipper in the back the child will be unable to remove the pajama suit. This helps the parent keep the child in their clothes. The clothing is comfortable, yet a child is not able to remove it.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the invention will be, or will become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the following claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of children's clothing embodying the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the clothing shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a one-piece form of the children's clothing embodying the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the clothing shown in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the figures, it can be understood that the present invention is embodied in wearing apparel 10 for autistic children in a manner such that once the child is placed in the wearing apparel, the child cannot remove that wearing apparel on his or her own.

Wearing apparel 10 comprises a leg covering portion 20 which can include foot covers 30 and 32. The wearing apparel further comprises a trunk covering portion 40 which is fixedly connected to the trunk covering portion in a manner such that the leg covering portion and the trunk covering portion are a unit and the leg covering portion cannot be removed from the autistic child without first opening the trunk covering portion. The trunk covering portion includes a first section 42 which is located adjacent to the chest section of the child when the child is wearing the wearing apparel and a second section 44 which is located adjacent to the back section of the child when the child is wearing the wearing apparel. The trunk covering portion can include arm covers 50 and 52 as well as a neck opening 58 through which the child's neck fits. It is noted that the neck opening is only large enough to permit the child's neck to pass therethrough. The neck opening can be sized so it is even too small for the child's head to pass as will be understood from the teaching of the present disclosure.

An opening 60 is defined through the trunk covering portion though which the autistic child passes to enter or leave the trunk covering portion. The trunk covering portion is one piece so the opening is the only means for the autistic child to enter or leave the trunk covering portion whereby the only way the autistic child can remove the trunk covering portion and the leg covering portion is to move through the opening in the trunk portion. In the form shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the opening is defined through second section 44 of the trunk covering portion.

A closure 70, such as a zipper or hook-and-loop material such as VELCRO or the like is located on the trunk covering portion adjacent to the opening. The closure is located in a section 78 of the trunk covering portion that cannot be reached by the child wearing the trunk covering portion so the child cannot access the closure while wearing the trunk covering portion, and is the only means for opening and closing the trunk covering portion. The closure is adapted to close the trunk covering portion when in a closed configuration and to open the trunk covering portion when in an open configuration whereby once the child is inside the trunk covering portion and the leg covering portion the child cannot by itself remove either the trunk covering portion or the leg covering portion. In the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the closure is located in second section 44 of the trunk covering portion.

Therefore, the means for donning or removing the wearing apparel consists entirely of the opening and the closure which are located so the child cannot gain access to the closure once the he or she is wearing the wearing apparel and thus the child cannot remove the wearing apparel once he or she is dressed.

The wearing apparel can be pajamas formed of soft material such as cotton or the like. In one form of the invention shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 as wearing apparel 10′, the trunk covering portion and the leg covering portion are a monolithic one-piece unit.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.