Hi all,  my son Kyle is now 7 and still does not tie his shoes.  I don't really think this is a DMD issue because he draws with so much detail that I have to believe the fine motor skills are just fine.  He is a VERY active little boy - my youngest - so I am kind of wondering if he just doesn't want to know how to tie his shoes.  Why learn when mom or dad will do it for him and/or otherwise he just slips them on whether tied or untied.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Tricks?  Bribes?  I'm open to anything... 

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Donna,

My son John, who has DMD, is 20. I long ago gave up on the idea of fussing with him over anything that was not a legal, medical, or moral issue. I just figured that I wanted to spend my time with him expanding his world and having him experience as much as he could of the good and interesting things in life. He is well behaved, tries his hardest at everything, is kind to other people. In other words, he is turning out to be a great kid and young adult.

I would take Kyle to the store and get him some shoes with Velcro, or use one of many devices that keeps shoes tied and connects to elastic laces. Shoe tying skills are over rated and he may not be able to do it later depending on what his particular progression is.

I adopted John when he was four and it changed my life. Really made me look at my priorities and appreciate what is important, what I can replace and what is irreplaceable..

Ginny
Both of my boys (1 DMD, 1 not) were late tying shoes. The first one just didn't seem to want to try until he was sure he could do it - then suddenly he wanted to learn and it took him almost no time. My youngest son, with DMD, did learn to tie but decided it was too much trouble and now uses "lock laces" which are elastic bands with a sliding clamp that we get for all of his athletic shoes from a local shoe store. I guess what I'm saying is not to worry - he'll learn when he's ready & will feel good about himself for learning. But once he learns the skill, you might want to simplify & find an alternative to laces because the bending over, squatting, tying, & rising gets old really quick with the boys!
My son Alex, just learned to tie his shoe last year (age 10). His physical and occupations therapist did try and teach him (4 yrs ago) and encourage him to learn on his own. I never pushed...it was just too hard for him. I also always bought velcro. Anyway, he wanted to do it on his own and he was determined to learn and now he wears sneakers with shoestrings. Not sure how long it will last.

I wouldn't push it either. It may be hard for him and so he just doesn't want to try. He may want to learn in his own time.

Good luck.

Kim
My daughter (no issues at all) didn't learn to tie her shoes until she was almost 10. It took her wanting to take a jazz dance class and being required to have the shoes that tie to motivate her to learn. I haven't even bothered with my boys (1 DMD, 1 typical). I'll teach Jake (typical) eventually), but unless Sam (DMD) wants to learn I'll stick with velcro and slip on shoes.
My son Ryan had a really hard time learning to tie his shoes. He worked very hard and it was something he wanted to learn how to do. But it was hard for him and i believe it was because of the dmd. He no sooner learned how and then he just wasn't able to do it anymore. So we did the velcro or i just tyed them for him. I agree that it isn't a big deal . We did find that having him hold the shoe in his lap or put it on a table and practiced it without having to bend over and balance while trying to figure it out helped.
My Zach (8) still does not tie his shoes. But on a different note, do your boys need help getting dressed ? What about wiping when on the toilet ? Hae I been duped into wiping his bottom ?!? I wonder if that is hard for him because he can so easily lose his balance.
Sam is 8 and still needs help with some buttons and zippers. He also needs help with wiping most of the time. He's done it on his own, but it's not always the best job.


Tamara Walters said:
My Zach (8) still does not tie his shoes. But on a different note, do your boys need help getting dressed ? What about wiping when on the toilet ? Hae I been duped into wiping his bottom ?!? I wonder if that is hard for him because he can so easily lose his balance.
Joshua has tried tying his shoes to no avail so he too uses velcro or the elastic lace. He also has trouble with zippers and buttons therefore everything is either elastic or zipper. I too have a toilet wiping issue. Many times, Joshua will not let me check and I keep a tube of Zincofax close by. This seems to be a common dilema which is still considered taboo to talk about... but here we are! :D
My Matthew is almost 8. He has a very difficult time dressing and undressing. He cannot tie his shoes either. So, we dress and undress him. We also wipe his bottom. I think that's definitely a balance issue for Matthew.
Thanks to every one for posting here, it is helping me and taking out a lot of weight from my back, my son is 5 and still learning to tie shoes(velcro rules), getting dressed - undressed,no wiping bottom still, shower is fine though.
great to read different experiences.

Follow up:

The smallest steps can be like winning the lottery.  As noted on the original post, we've been struggling with Kyle (8) to tie his own shoes.  We were beginning to wonder if it was DMD related even though we have been reassured by his doctor that this was not the case; ie. that he was just being lazy and why not when mom and dad will do it for him :-).  I guess all we needed was big brother to show him a few times.  Last night I could see Kyle sitting at the edge of the ottoman playing with the string on his shorts when he suddenly bolted up, arms raised, grinning from ear to ear, eyes sparkling, hooting and hollering, like he had just won the lottery.  He was so excited and immediately had to show us on his shoes.  YEH! it was hard not to be excited for him.  There sure are simple joys in this crazy life we are all living.

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