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This page is edited by Kerstin Wennström and contains tips from people with TAR syndrome or their parents. Tips that would make everyday living easier are welcome. Please, contact Kerstin at kerstin.wennstrom@telia.com


Many children with short arms find dressing difficult. They learn self grooming and dressing slowly and step by step, often later than their peers. Some children will solve the problems by themselves, others need some changes made to their clothes and some need different kinds of gadgets like dressing sticks.

How to Dress Yourself If You Have Short Arms – Some Advice from People Who Have Experienced This Difficulty

Dressing will be easier if sleeves fit perfectly. Make them short and end the sleeve with soft stretchy cuffs or Velcro. Sometimes the best alternative is to remove the sleeves. Here are a few tricks that might help with jeans and other trousers:

  • Buy trousers one size too big and they will easily fall down when you open the belt.
  • Trousers will fall down easier if you line the inside with some kind of silky cloth.
  • Try to make the buttonholes a bit bigger than they should be or change the button to a smaller one.
  • Bigger buttons are often easier to cope with.
  • Fasten buttons with thin rubber band instead of thread.
  • Fasten a key ring in the zippers.
  • Soft pants with casing and cord in the waist can be a better solution than jeans.
  • Suspenders are a good alternative to a belt.
  • Remove buttons and sew Velcro patches on instead. This is also useful for cardigans, jackets, etc. (Advice from Sue E., in Suffolk, UK.)
  • Cathy W., North Carolina, USA, writes: ’Our 6 year old son uses suspenders on his pants and an elastic waist. We have put hooks on the floor in his room. He hooks the suspenders over the hooks, and scoots into his pants. It works well!.’

For more advises on dressing and personal care in general, please see Tipbase!


Toileting is a major problem for persons born with TAR Syndrome. Since everyone has arms of different length the solutions must vary from person to person. Here are links to a few web sites where you’ll find equipment for toileting and at some of the sites also other things for disabled people.

Bidet 2000
Sanicare Bidets
Diastrophic Help
Dynamic Living 
Life with Ease
Independent Living Centre  (search for ’toileting’)

[Last updated: 12 January 2011]