Autism and Disabilities Functioning

Focused on helping functioning dysfunctional families with autism and other special needs

Tammy speaking ~ 

You may find yourself asking why does my child STILL have “tying shoes” as a need and as an IEP goal?  Recently someone came to me and asked me what I thought about her saying that she is sick and tired of her child’s IEP saying he has to learn to tie his shoes. She asked what I thought about her saying – “NO, that is not going to stay on my 15 year sons IEP. He is not going to tie his shoes.”  I actually laughed and said I completely understand, and I agree.  Your child does not need to know how to tie his shoes.  Years ago that was an important task because you could not purchase gym shoes that did not tie.  However, now you can buy adult shoes with velcro or you can do what we do with Scott.  Scott wants to wear Nike or whatever other brands he thinks look cool.  We like him to fit in when it is possible so we buy what he wants. Then we use a product to help him be independent in putting on and off his own shoes.  We remove the typical shoe laces and use a product designed to make tying shoes unnecessary.  I have included pictures of products that we have used but I do not endorse any one product.  Different products may work better for different people.  I am just showing some varieties that we have used. They all have worked with shoes he has had recently or in the past. The prices vary on the products as well.  NO your child does NOT have to learn to tie their shoes.  Be inventive and use other avenues for your child to learn to put shoes on and off on their own.  If you don’t have to focus on shoe tying your child’s occupational therapist can concentrate on other life skills that are important for your child to be as independent as possible.  I hope this was good information for you.  If you have other ideas or thoughts, feel free to share them with us.

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