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Little Man is Excited; He Can Tie His Shoes!

Learning to tie shoesThe little man came home from school today, dropped his book bag in the closet, said, “Mom, guess what? I finally learned how to tie my own shoes! Want to see?”

Then he proudly demonstrated his newly acquired skill!

I’m so excited for him because not being able to tie his shoes has been a source of frustration and embarrassment for a long time. When we discussion OT, the first thing he said was, “Can we work on tying my shoes? I’m the only one in my while class who can’t their own shoes!” (Mommy guilt much) The goal was added to his IEP.

I’ve had no success over the years teaching him, or any of the boys for that matter, to tie shoes. I can tie my own, but have difficulty making my fingers complete the task and for some reason cannot break it down into steps to teach others. I avoid shoes with laces at all costs. Like the little man, I also fumble with zippers, snaps, and small button, which are the worst! Now I’m thinking about it the step from having to tie a shoe lace to little man having to tie his tie for work is going to be a big step, there are many men that can’t tie a simple tie knot properly! Having a look at tutorials on many different knots will be beneficial to those you know that can’t do their own ties just yet, over at https://www.ties.com/how-to-tie-a-tie they cover everything from a simple windsor to tying a trinity!

Aspie Teen couldn’t care less about his laces, has no sense of embarrassment, really about anything now that I’m thinking about it, but little man is more socially aware.

Yesterday, little man complained again, so I asked if they were working on tying shoes in OT. “Only once! We have too many other things to do!”

I told him that he can ask the next time he goes to OT, but he remained upset because OT is only on Fridays and this Friday is field day so no therapy.

This is the best part:

He learned and practiced his shoe tying in resource today. He problem solved, and advocated for himself by requesting that his resource teacher work with him instead of waiting for OT.

I’m so proud of him, he knew what he wanted to learn, asked for it, and rewarded with a new skill, one he is very excited to show off. He has changed his shoes several times this afternoon in order to practice.

Such a seemingly small task; such a big reward!






Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.