Hand differences
Self Care Booklet

Getting Dressed

Shirts, T-Shirts & Jackets

To put garment on, place the arm with a hand difference in the sleeve first. To remove the shirt or jacket remove the dominant arm from the sleeve first, then use that arm to take off the rest of the shirt.


If the child is using their affected arm to assist with pulling up pants, a loop sewn inside the waistband of the pants on the affected side can be used to hook a finger, the hand or forearm through to pull the pants up.


Loops can also be used on the inside of socks to help pull them up.


  • You can leave buttons done up and slip the garment over your head
  • Look for clothing with press studs instead of buttons
  • Velcro tape can be sewn under buttons
  • Sew buttons with elastic thread


Button Aid – 4 in one dressing aid & other button aids.

Video Demonstration

  • Watch video: demonstrates how to button your jeans up with one hand using a homemade device and a door handle to assist.

What Our Members Say

“A general determination and self-belief – my 4 year old buttons his own shirts one handed by drawing the 2 sides together and manipulating the button through the hole.”



A zipper pull, split ring or ribbon loop as well as other zipper aids can be attached to the pull tab if a finger can be used to hook and the pull tab cannot be pinched.

Video Demonstration

Watch video: Zipping up a jacket with 5 year old Sam from My Special Hand and Ryan from Living One Handed.

What Our Members Say

“Avoid side zips with buttons…put it [skirt] on with the zip and button at the front and swing it around.”

  • Try an elasticised crop top to put on over your head or step into
  • Try a front fastening bra
  • A back fastening bra can be fastened at the front (around your waist) then twisted around to the back before putting your arms through and pulling the bra up


Bras and Bra aids

What Our Members Say

“Do it up at the front and either twist it around or do it up and put it over your head like a t-shirt.”


  • Try an elasticised expansion watchband.


  • Long necklaces are easier to fasten than short ones
  • If long enough the necklace can be slipped over your head
  • Large clasps and loops are easiest to handle
  • Magnetic Clasp Converters can be purchased to attach to your necklace clasp for easier application


  • Hook, clip or sleeper type earrings are easier than studs


  • Try an elasticised bracelet
  • Bracelet fastener – this device assists in fastening a bracelet around the user’s wrist. The bracelet fastener controls one end of the bracelet whilst the user holds the other. Fits all wrist sizes.
  • Magnetic Clasp Converters can be purchased to attach to your necklace clasp for easier application

Video Demonstrations

  • Watch video: A woman demonstrates clipping her hair up and applying a variety of jewellery that is suitable for a person with one hand

What Our Members Say

Jewellery… buy gold and leave it on forever! Or you will need to ask someone(s) help or be a contortionist and use your teeth to get bracelets on.”

  • Try shoes with different fastenings such as buckles, Velcro fastenings, elastic or crazy laces or slip on shoes


Video Demonstrations

  • Watch video: Tying shoelaces one handed with Nick Newell – a pro MMA fighter with a below elbow congenital amputation. Observed by young boy Dakota who also has a limb deficiency
  • Watch video: Demonstration of tying laces on different shoes – by Ryan from Living One Handed
  • Watch video: Demonstration of one handed shoelace tying using the ‘Ninja knot’
  • Watch video: Demonstration of one-handed shoe tying – by Hannah who shows how to use other foot to hold the lace firmly for a tight 2 stage bunny loop method
  • Watch video: Demonstration of one-handed shoe tying using other foot to hold one lace for a firm bow

What Our Members Say

My mum made a cardboard shoe with real laces and I spent time doing it both with and without her until I gained success. I did this before going to school.”