Desensitization and helping our son with #Autism wear shoes and socks (video) 

Sensory processing disorder has creeped its way into almost every aspect of our lives. Elliott, Emmett and Lizze all struggle with sensory related challenges. Gavin’s doing much better as he gets older.  

One of the most impactful issues revolves around Emmett and wearing clothes, in particular shoes and socks.  

We’ve been trying a great many things for many years and have received mixed results at best. 

I wanted to share a quick video of a new approach I’ve taken to help Emmett become more comfortable in his shoes and socks. The key here is for him not to realize what we’re doing and disguise my efforts in something fun. 

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He loves walking on the treadmill but can’t unless he’s wearing shoes and socks. It’s a safety thing and if he wants to walk on it, he needs to wear shoes and socks.  

My goal is to get him wearing them as often as possible and not just when he needs to go to school.  

By walking in the treadmill with his shoes and socks in, he’s learning to tolerate the way they feel either realizing he’s doing it. He doesn’t like trying to get used to things like this and to succeed, I have to find things that force him to wear shoes and socks without him feeling like we’re working on this issue. 

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Does that make sense? Check out how awesome he did….  ☺ 


  1. JR

    Thanks for posting this and responding to my questions. Do you think there’s a psychological component to this? Your approach here suggests that Emmett can wear socks and shoes without complaint (at least at times) when he is motivated by something he wants to do. At least this could help him get over the psychological hurdle that seems to be there.

    The true sensory component kicks in where he’s really motivated to do something that requires shoes and socks but he just can’t tolerate putting them on. But the more he can actually wear them, the more it may help him in that moment to not psych himself out when he can’t initially tolerate it. I suspect part of your daily problem is that he reaches a “point of no return” where he gets himself so hysterical about it that it’s just not going to happen.

    Again, I appreciate your responsiveness, your willingness to let someone make some comments, and your ability to accept those comments in the spirit that they’re intended.

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