Shoe shopping online for my #autistic son

Let me just start by saying that I hate shoe shopping for Emmett, even in the most perfect of circumstances. I love Emmett to the moon and back. The issue is not that I don’t want to spend the time or money, it’s that sensory processing disorder makes finding things like shoes, socks and clothes difficult at times. Although, as he gets older, he’s doing so much better. It can still be frustrating though, for both of us.

I’ve talked about this a million times before but people suffering from SPD, and I use the word suffering on purpose, face challenges that the rest of us can’t even imagine.

In Emmett’s case, he’s very sensitive to things like texture, taste and smell. He doesn’t like the feeling of clothes on his skin. In fact, wearing a shirt will often drive him crazy because it itches or even hurts.

Historically, shoes have been an absolute nightmare. He went years without wearing shoes because he just couldn’t tolerate them.

When we finally reached a point where shoes were tolerable for him, it was only after hundreds of dollars worth of shoes that he would wear only once and countless hours spent shopping for each of those pairs. The only reason he ever tolerated shoes is because he never gave up. He wanted to wear shoes and he simply kept trying while we supported him.

Fast forward to day 199 of COVID19 lockdown and Emmett informs me that his shoes are too small. Maybe I should have already known that but I don’t regularly inspect their shoes cause I have lots of other things going on.

Anyway, he brought it to my attention and while COVID19 has put a financial hiccup in an otherwise better financial year, the kid needs new shoes and he’s getting new shoes.

The real challenge is shopping for shoes online because when we’re at the store, he might try on 10 or 15 pairs of shoes and find something wrong with all of them. Shopping online removes the massive advantage of not going into this blind. We lose the ability for him to try anything on before buying and that’s a scary thought.

Having said that, after about 45 minutes of searching Amazon, we finally found a pair of shoes that he not only likes but will hopefully find comfortable as well.

They’re going to show up while he’s with his mom and I promised to drop them off if they arrive early enough.

Worst case scenario, these don’t work out and I send them back before trying again.

I’m hoping that this may actually work out to our advantage because I have always suspected that part of his problem finding shoes in the store is that there are too many choices. He’s very indecisive at times and that creates anxiety, which in turn leads to him being more sensory sensitive.

Perhaps, this will prove to be the best way to shop for his shoes. I’m remaining optimistic because he’s so excited and that excitement just might help this all work out. ☺

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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