Tuesday 27 March 2012

Calling all kids shoe and clothes designers!

Is it just me who really would not consider buying children's sandals with buckles on any more? Or pumps with laces? Am I really that lazy?

Yep, 'fraid so. I look at all the pretty styles on offer and think 'why couldn't they have just used a bit of velcro on that strap?'.

At 6, nearly 7, I'm well aware that Tamsin should be able to 'do' buckles and laces, and yes, actually, she can. It's a bit like using a knife and fork though - painfully slow and means the end result takes longer to get to. Am I just impatient? Probably.

Having Sasha though has shaped me differently; we've been through her early years where it was important to leave the house as soon as you said you would, or the moment was lost and a tantrum would happen. Sasha could use a knife to cut food at around the same time as Tamsin - but will only do so if she chooses to. Really, out of all the other things we have to worry about on a day to day basis, making them use knives or do buckles or tie their own shoelaces is way down my list of priorities. I know Tamsin can do these things independently, and Sasha will sometimes have a good go, so I don't think I'm failing them by not forcing them to comply at home.

I know some older children with autism really struggle with laces, and I've been told there's only one type of older boys school shoe which has velcro straps on. Why is this?

While I'm at it, we're aware that Sasha has some sensory issues, but fortunately for us these aren't extreme. For a whole year when she was younger she refused to wear socks (see half way down this post), and also then refused trousers, leggings or tights, which was always interesting when it was really cold. Now she accepts leggings for gym only, and will occasionally allow us to choose a top and skirt for her, but 99% of the time what she will wear is a dress. 

Not just any dress though. I have a full wardrobe of those pretty hand-me-downs from Tamsin which would have been ideal. For Sasha though, the dress really has to have short sleeves (she did originally tolerate long sleeves for a short period last year but that has now stopped), and to be made out of soft jersey materal, ideally with no buttons, embroidery, stitching or elasticated waists.

So what can I find in the shops at the moment? Plenty of tops and skirts, some leftover long sleeved dresses, and now strappy summer dresses. Pretty much NO short sleeved jersey dresses anywhere. Trying to shop for clothes or shoes for my girls is SO frustrating! I need help!

Any shoe or clothes designers out there? Come on, help us out please! Don't make our lives more difficult!


  1. thanks. Am almost tempted to buy my own sewing machine... if only I had time!

  2. Well, you know what I think of clothes - its a nightmare so whenever I find something suiitable I am in such euphoria I have to blog about it. I used to pressurise my kids to buckle their shoes, do their tie etc and it used to be the cause of a lot of issues. Of course I didn't know they were autistic back then so just felt under pressure from their peers. Now knowing they're autistic I go by their pace which means almost dressing my son myself. As for my daughter, she can do her tie and shoe buckle/strap but often shoes are on the wrong feet or are not strapped because she can't be bothered or isn't interested. As for clothes, she appears not to like things on her arms and lives in t-shirts.

    I'd have a go at making something Steph. There are lots of simple patterns you can get and online companies that stock both materials and patterns. Deb

    1. yes, think I'd quite like to do some making! T-shirt dresses can't be that difficult... can they??!


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