About 1 in every 36 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Is your child one of them?
Children with autism are all different. They have different skills, needs, and interests. One thing many parents of autistic children notice, however, is that autism and wearing shoes don't always go well together.
This could be due to sensory issues. Children with autism are more sensitive to sight, sound, and physical touch than other children. Because of this, wearing shoes and socks can be overstimulating.
If your autistic daughter or autistic son won't keep shoes on, we're here to help. Read on to learn 4 quick tips.
1. Try Gradual Exposure
As we mentioned, many children with autism have sensory issues with socks and shoes. Gradual exposure can help your child slowly adapt to the new sensation of wearing shoes so it's not as uncomfortable.
Have your child start wearing socks around the house if they don't already. You can give them time limits and rewards for meeting those limits. For example, during the first week, perhaps you want your child to wear socks for several 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
When your child is comfortable with socks, move on to shoes. Have your child wear their new shoes around the house or on errands for brief periods of time. Even if you have a shoes-off household, this temporary gradual exposure is worth it.
2. Choose Comfortable Shoes
Not all shoes are going to be appropriate for children with sensory issues. Make sure you choose shoes that are comfortable and sensory-friendly. Many parents make the mistake of trying to choose shoes that will be difficult to remove, but that's not the right move.
Always have your child try shoes on in-person to make sure you get the perfect fit and that your child is comfortable walking around. Your child may still resist comfortable shoes, but they're more likely to leave them on for longer periods of time.
3. Let Your Child Help Choose
Depending on the age of your child, they may be able to help you choose a pair of shoes for them (with guidance, of course). If you want to get your autistic child to keep their shoes on, try picking out a pair of shoes that they'll love!
After you narrow down your options to comfortable and accessible shoes, let your child pick the color and design (or any other features). You can also let them pick out shoe accessories, like fun charms and laces.
4. Try uLace No-Tie Laces
Helping your child put their shoes back on every time they remove them is frustrating. Why not use uLace No-Tie shoelaces to make it easier?
These fun laces turn any pair of shoes into slip-on shoes. Children love the colorful and fun laces, and parents love not having to re-tie shoes several times per day.
If your child's shoes turn into slip-on shoes, they may feel less "trapped" in them, and they'll be able to easily slip them off and put them back on without the help of a parent.
Autism and Wearing Shoes: It's a Struggle
Autism and wearing shoes can be a frustrating combination for children but don't worry. The anti-shoe phase is temporary, and these tips can help make it easier for you and your child alike.
If you want to make wearing shoes fun for your child, check out our uLace shoelaces! Turn any pair of stylish and comfy kicks into slip-ons in a flash. Visit our shop today!