We understand shoe shopping with a child who has Autism can be a daunting experience. At Start-Rite, we want to make sure we help you as much as possible before you visit a shoe shop so that the experience is as pleasant as possible for you and your child.
That’s why we’ve created an autism friendly shoe shopping guide that explains what you can expect to happen prior to a shop visit. We recommend you take the time to download the guide (see link below) and talk your child through the step by step process so they can visualise what’s involved – from entering the shop and meeting the shop assistant, to having their feet measured and trying on shoes. If your child has particularly sensitive sensory needs, we recommend calling the shop to book an appointment for your child at a quieter time.
Autism covers a wide spectrum of conditions, so following research on this subject, we have provided some useful tips to help shop staff. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about how they can make the experience less daunting for your child going forward. We’re sure they’ll be happy to hear any recommendations you have.
Click HERE to download our guide.
Every child is different, and the same goes for those with autism, so there’s no one best shoe to try. However, if you’re looking to save time while shoe shopping with an autistic child, it’s a good idea to think about shoes they’ve liked in the past and why that might be. For example, some children might like shoes with rip-tape due to difficulties with the development of their fine motor skills. Others might prefer buckles or slip on shoes.
It’s also essential to make sure you try on shoes that are the right size. Children with sensory issues are especially sensitive to pain and discomfort, which can make the whole process more difficult when they’re wearing shoes that are too big or too small.
In the end, shoe shopping with an autistic child might be more complicated, but it doesn’t have to be an awful experience for you or your child. With these helpful tips and our friendly staff on hand to help out, shoe shopping can even be fun!