I need some advice please. - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

CHADD's ADHD Parents Together

20,154 members5,644 posts

I need some advice please.

virgo02 profile image
15 Replies

Hello. My name is Melissa and my son has ADHD. He is twelve years old and he just started the seventh grade. My problem right now - and this is very embarrassing - is that he still doesn't get it when it comes to tying his shoes. I've tried helping him many times over the years and it's hard for him to understand it. I'm bad because I eventually give up and buy him slip on shoes thinking that he'll be able to learn to tie them when he gets older, but I'm just wrong... wrong... wrong and I'm wondering if other people have been in my situation? Thank you much.

EDIT : Ok, so I googled teaching kids how to tie their shoes and we watched a few of the videos. We found one that was easy for him and he's gotten better at tying them! Thank you everyone for your tips. Much appreciated 😁

15 Replies
Onthemove1971 profile image

Vitgo02- welcome to the group. I have a few thoughts.

Does your child have an IEP? Or a 504 plan?

If yes, then you could request ( in writing with the Special Education dept.) An evaluation for OT ( occupational thearpy) and they could assess him to see if there are any areas that could be impacting his educational process. If he is found to need specialized training they will added an ammendment and write goals, which could help him work on.

The other option is your private health insurance should cover OT service, just speak to his general care doctor and explain you want him to work on this.

The 3rd option is you find the right tools to help him and do it yourself. If this is the only skill he is unable to do then he could just "not be ready" yet. Every child accomplishes tasks at different ages.

Hope this helps.

I am not an OT ( but have lots that I work with) so I could ask for the best tips.

Take care,

Cjkchamp profile image

Welcome to my world! I was going to spend this past summer teaching my son to toe his shoes, but that didn’t happen. He is wearing a 3.5 and I think once he hits 4 that will be the end of slip on shoes since I haven’t found them larger. We’ve already been through occupational therapy. He does pretty well with buttons and he is good with zippers, but I still opt for pants with elastic. Some things I just don’t want to fight about. I had bought my daughter a board book that has three ways to tie laces. I’m going to try that with him. Good luck! If you find someone who invents spray on shoes let me know!

mmmtv profile image

Second the suggestion to consider engaging an Occupational Therapist.

You might also consider having him check out some YouTube videos on how to tie shoes, and leave him to watch them and practice at his one pace. There are some really good ones out there, with different knot techniques. One of them might work and "stick" better than others. E.g.: youtube.com/watch?v=U-ooujz...

Momrocket profile image

This symptom of not being able to tie shoes is a common symptom in dyslexia. If I were you I would strongly consider having your son evaluated for dyslexia in addition to having him evaluated by an OT. How’s his spelling? How’s his reading comprehension?

Best of luck to you with this.

Elijah1 profile image

Being unable to tie shoes is a motor problem (dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder) which is present in up to 50% of children with ADHD but does not seem to get as much attention as other co-existing problems. I assume he has difficulties with fine motor skills such as easy cutting with a knife and fork and was late in buttoning. Handwriting may be messy. Some also have gross motor problems affecting ease of running and throwing so may not be the best in sports. A simple solution is getting a pair of elastic shoe laces at the shoe section of your local Walmart, Target or similar store. You can buy any pair of shoes and replace the laces with these (originally made for those with arthritis of the hands or a stroke that affects use of both hands, as shown to me by an older man at the gym).

azgin profile image
azgin in reply to Elijah1

Thanks for the tip. We have the same issue so I will look for them.

eperez18 profile image

Our now 10 year ADHD son also struggled with tying his own shoe laces. He finally learned last summer but ONLY because he wanted some cool shoes for the school year. He learned and we got him his new shoes. But since he does not double knot them the shoe laces become untied all the time. So now prefers slip on shoes or laces that can be adjusted without having to tie them. On occasion he wears shoes that require tying but he appears to prefer not having to tie them. As a parent I totally understand your frustration but it does take time for them to acquire the skill and them master it through practice, kind of like riding a bike (our son learned at the age of 7 where as our younger son learned how to ride a balance bike at 18 months of age).

Amazon has great shoe lace substitutes we did buy our ADHD son a couple because he did a Youth Kids Triathlon in April of this year and needed something to help get his shoes on quickly after the swimming portion of the triathlon. Look up “No tie shoelaces” iLiveX on Amazon sells them.

kimyvonnelee profile image

For my 9yo grandson, he just doesn’t like taking the time to tie shoes so I buy him Keens. Eventually I’ll get done of the No/tie laces for him... much easier than dealing with the stress of getting ready to leave the house in the morning

Alliea79 profile image

Looks like you have gotten some awesome direction here! I will be sending you some patience vibes! We all have tried to keep it together through trials...

Anyhow, I remember seeing these online thinking they’d be good for my dad after surgery, but while I don’t know if they should be a permanent crutch, (although really, what do I know, we are all learning together here!) but check these out. There are a few options on this site.


My son is 13 and still doesn't know how to tie his shoes. He prefers to wear velcrow shoes.

Janice_H profile image

Hi, it is ok if your son has not yet mastered tying his shoes. It is also ok to buy him slip on shoes or shoes with velcro. If you have a spare sneaker, just allow him to practice tying the shoes until he gets it. My son is 12 and he taught himself to tie shoes about 4 years ago. I was also concerned that it took him so long to learn.

Toshdog86 profile image

I just read your post- and I felt that there is someone out there that might possibly understand what I go through as a mom of a boy with ADHD!! He can tie his shoes to keep them from coming off but not without a lot of time (more than needed for others his age) and the WANT to do it!! My son is starting 7th grade this year also!! I wanted to let you know that you and your son are not alone!!

virgo02 profile image
virgo02 in reply to Toshdog86


lisalvarez100 profile image

Don't feel bad, my husband still don't know how to tide shoes but there are other things that he is able to fix. Very smart person. My son is diagnosed with ADHD, I did the same mistake giving up with the shoes and I bought the slip on shoes. One day I propose as a challenge just one step at a time. One day I just asking how to hold the two shoelaces and I cheer him up for just doing that. The next day how to fold as ears the two shoelaces. The following date we cross them off and pass under the other one. I created confidence on him. Of course the first day he automatically rejected to do it. Because he used to said I can't do it. But I convince him with something that he really love to do. And It worked for me. I hope this can help you.

virgo02 profile image
virgo02 in reply to lisalvarez100

Ty 😁

You may also like...