Footwear & Accessories

Clothing Solutions & Accessories

Finding the right footwear or socks can often be difficult. Many people find wearing shoes and socks uncomfortable and hard to tolerate, especially if they have a sensory processing disorder - often associated with Autism.

Foot pain, resulting from a physical condition or injury can also result in a reluctance to wear shoes or socks, so it is always a good idea to consult your Doctor, Occupational Therapist or Health Professional if you think this might be the case. If you are under the supervision of a specialist NHS or Hospital Orthotics Service, please consult them if you have any concerns.

Many children with autism and/or sensory processing disorders experience hypersensitivity and cannot stand annoying bumps and seams. Fledglings stock SmartKnit Sensitivity socks, Seamless socks and AFO socks that provide relief for you child's sensitive feet. Subsequently, fastening shoelaces can be problematic for children with limited mobility or hand dexterity. We offer quick release & tie Greeper laces and coiler elastic laces to simplify this process.

View our extensive range or contact us for further information or support. If we do not stock the product you are looking for, we are happy to point you in the right direction.

Shoes & Laces

For many children and adults with additional needs, fastening shoes can be a problem. Laces can be difficult for those with limited mobility or hand dexterity. Often families will choose to use footwear with a Velcro fastening. 

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Seamless Socks

Comfortable, seamless socks can also help make footwear more bearable to wear. Try to find fabrics, which will breathe and wick away perspiration. Fabrics such as cotton, bamboo or silk work well for people with sensory issues or sensitive skin conditions. 

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COMMON ISSUES & SOLUTIONS

For many children and adults with additional needs, fastening shoes can be a problem. Shoe laces can be fiddly and difficult for those with limited mobility or hand dexterity to tie for example. Often families will choose to use footwear with a Velcro fastening which makes taking shoes on and off easier. For children of primary school age there are lots of footwear options available with slip on shoes for school, sports and at home. However, as children enter secondary school or college they may need lace fastening shoes. There may also be less Velcro fastening footwear options available, especially for sport shoes while some schools may specify a smart lace up shoe as part of the uniform.

There are options available for lace up shoes such as replacing the laces with elastic laces. Once the elastic laces have been fitted to the shoes, they need only be fastened once, and then the shoe can be slipped on an off by the wearer. This will help, particularly as the student progresses through secondary school or college, as they may not have any one to help them fasten their shoes or dress. Other options may not have elastic/stretchy laces but have a quick release toggle which keep the shoe fastened.

LACE OPTIONS

Greepers - once these non- elastic laces are threaded through the shoe they are fastened with quick release / fastening toggle. Once the Greepers are fitted to the footwear the laces are loosened simply by pulling on the pull tab on the toggle. These laces are available in a range of colours that will suit everyday shoes and sports shoes. Available at Fledglings.

Coiler Elastic Laces - a coiled laces that once pulled through the shoe does not need to be tied. Available at Fledglings.

Triathlon Laces – Triathletes use special laces, which allow them to pull their shoes on and off without wasting time. Some are elastic, while others are secured with a sliding lock toggle (or both) and they come in a wide range of colours. These can be found at a wide range of sports outlets, such as Wiggle, Decathlon, Sports Direct, Amazon and Ebay, etc. 

Please Note - there is not much documented research on the Wilbarger Protocol and we cannot verify its effectiveness. However, many parents of children with autism have reported seeing decreases in sensory stress and anxiety through using this technique. Some of the benefits may include improved ability to transition between daily activities, improved attention span and less discomfort of being touched.