For the many children with fine motor skill challenges, tying their own shoelaces can be a major undertaking. Velcro straps may eliminate a child's need to manage shoelaces when he or she is younger. However, as children (especially boys) get older, the availability of shoe styles with Velcro straps diminishes. Furthermore, many of the alternatives for keeping laces tightly tied just don't look "cool' enough to pass muster with elementary schoolers and middle schoolers. (And what child with special needs wants to have one more thing that identifies him or her as being "different" from the general student population?)
Thankfully, triathletes and other "serious" sports enthusiasts share the same need for a speedy way to reliably tighten up their shoelaces without tying them in the traditional way. Please check out the products at the websites listed below. You might find some shoelaces that will enable your child to fasten his own shoes easily (and with style)!
Here are some examples of the different styles of speed laces:
- Lock Laces: http://www.locklaces.com/
- Easy Laces: www.easy-lace.com/index.htm
- Xtenex: http://xtenex.com/
Here's a great review by Tom Demerly of some of the major "speed" shoelace products (with pictures and brief tutorials): http://university.tri-sports.com/2011/07/14/stretch-shoe-laces/ .
Hopefully, one of the products featured by Tom will enable your child to manage this aspect of self-care more successfully and with much less anxiety.