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Sensory issues

Sensory issues

My 5-year-old has sensory issues - socks and shoes, can't get him to wear them. He has already missed 2 days of school. Don't know what to do.

Hi Gillian,

This can be very frustrating for a parent and a teacher. Many children have a problem with wearing shoes and socks and there can be a number of reasons why. The best assessment for why your five year old refuses is best done by a professional, and it is an ocupational therapist  who is best at determining your childs sensory needs. You may have tried;

  • If your child is just exerting their independence it is helpful to engage your child in choosing the socks they want to wear. I am aware some schools require a particular uniform sock, and this may require a conversation with the school and a conversation about school requirements.
  • If it is a sensory issue there are some easy tricks; turn the socks inside out as no-one can see the seam inside the shoe, offer choice as it could also be the material the sock is made of and a different sock could make the difference.
  • If shoes are also the problem, again a conversation about the shoe that includes, laces or velcro, colour, and fit. Children's feet grow quite quickly and their toes need to be able to wiggle inside the shoe. 

Should the problem not resolve with different socks or shoes I would suggest a visit with an OT.


Marie Stuart

Marie Stuart

State Social Inclusion Coordinator QLD for Goodstart Early Learning

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