Kids and their shoes

Who knew shoes would turn out to be so important around here?

Jett has always been a little quirky about his shoes… he didn’t like tie shoes because tying them is too hard. So we have been buying velcro shoes… and as he ages, they become harder to find in the “cool” styles. For the last few months he has been asking us to velcro his shoes for him. Which is odd, but in the interest of getting out of the house semi-on-time, we indulge. But, as it turns out, shoes are a Thing.

For those of you with kids on the spectrum, you know what I mean… one of those Things that sets your kid off.

School starts here next week, and school means shoes. Shoes that have closed-toes. Shoes that have to be fastened. And shoes that, since boys feet grow alarmingly fast, purchased before school starts.

So we headed to the mall.

Mistake #1.

It was tax-free weekend.

Mistake #2.

He wanted Sketchers.

Mistake #3.

We were in the oh-so-crowded mall, an hour before it closed on tax-free weekend (which, in keeping with our not-so-with-it-parenting we had NO IDEA it even was tax-free weekend). So we head to the Sketchers store, where they blast in the techno-pop music and have the video screens going. Add the people, the shoes that sparkle, light-up, and almost dance by themselves, and the FREE BUBBLEGUM MACHINE and you have a recipe for disaster.

I tried to get Jett’s attention to ask him about certain shoes. Even holding his face in my hand he couldn’t look me in the eye. The sales-girl at one point was waving shoes in his face, to no avail. It was the first time I have said to a stranger “he’s on the autism spectrum”. I must admit, those words were very painful to speak aloud. Jett is so mild that usually I don’t need to say much of anything. People just see him as a rowdy, quirky guy most of the time. Not this day.

We finally purchased the shoes, and got home. He wore them today for the first time.

He hates them.

They don’t feel good. They are too loose, don’t hug his feet as tight as he wants. He hates shoes, hates them, wishes he never had to wear shoes ever again. Oh, and he doesn’t want to start school either, ThankYouVeryMuch.

Whew. That’s a lot of pressure on some foot-garb.

We started a new chart tonight. The Jett Wears His Shoes 10 Times to Break Them In chart. We have one sticker on it so far. We have to get 9 more before he starts school.

I just hope it works.


About morelikeaveragemom

I'm a stay home mom with 3 kids. I am simply figuring it out as I go.
This entry was posted in Autism / Asperger Syndrome, Kids and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Kids and their shoes

  1. metalmommy says:

    Omgosh, I so hear you on the show thing. My son refuses to learn to tie shoes. He worked on it in OT for a while and almost had it down…until we, his parents, decided we weren’t going to practice with him. Are we bad parents, or what?! Honestly tho, it was such a struggle to get him to do it that eventually we just threw up our hands and decided that was one battle we weren’t going to fight. We tried getting the ‘cool shoes’ that he wanted that were ‘tie shoes, hoping that would be a motivator…guess who ties them every morning?! Yup, yours truly. I’ve gotten to the point where I just realize that he’ll probably be wearing velcro his whole life, cool-looking or not! He can decide when he wants to tackle that battle on his own.

    • Tying shoes is SO hard. We ended up tying the one pair of tie shoes too, every day. So frustrating for all of us. He felt bad b/c it was a skill he couldn’t master and we harassed him about it every day. Not cool, but this was pre-diagnosis so we thought he was just being lazy and not wanting to learn. Poor kid. When I think about the choices we made out of ignorance…. (and unfortunately still make sometimes)

  2. Shelley says:

    I totally feel your pain. I avoid skechers like the plague. WAY to much going on and I’m sure the shoe waving didn’t help. I will admit that we cheat. One way to ensure that we make it through shopping, we go to Nordstrom’s. I know, I know. But they carry Skechers, so we can still be cool. And there are a lot less people in the kids shoe department there. It’s not a cool kids place, but it’s quieter and a lot less stim.

  3. Lauren says:

    Oh Jules… I kept wanting to ask you how you felt about saying he’s on the autism spectrum- how that felt and how it was received. I love my Jett and Jules!!!

  4. Beach Bum says:

    Move to New Zealand. Kids in elementary school do not have to wear shoes, they are allowed to go barefoot to class, even though there is otherwise a strict uniform. The shoes are the only optional part of the uniform. Parts of Australia and South Africa are like that too, or were like that.

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