Shoes, Socks, and a Sister

While Tad is perfectly capable of getting his own shoes and socks on (or sandals in better weather), he wants help most of the time.  Unfortunately, most of the time I don’t have the time to help him – mostly because Rerun can’t get himself ready at all.

So I came up with a solution – pay Ane to help him get his shoes and socks on.

This is a win-win pretty much all the way around.  Ane gets paid a quarter every time she helps Tad.  This makes her brother a cash cow instead of a chore.  It makes her more willing to help.  It buys me a little extra time.  It gets Ane to practice tying shoes.  And we get out the door that much quicker.

However, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.

A couple of days ago, Ane was getting Tad’s shoes on, and he was whining terribly to her about how much it hurt.  She was indifferent at first – and then got downright irritated with him.  “Don’t be such a baby, Tad, you’re fine,” she scolded as he whined louder.

I finally got Rerun finished up and came out to see what on earth was going on.  Tad got a glimpse of me and started crying.  “Mama, dis hurts!”

“Ane, what’s going on?” I asked.

“He’s just being a baby,” she scoffed.

I looked at Tad’s feet.  “Ane, you’ve put his shoes on the wrong feet!”

She got mad at him for not telling her, but I pointed out that he was telling her that it hurt.  “Honey, just because he has autism doesn’t mean that he’s always wrong,” I said.  “If he says something hurts, he means it, and you need to listen to him.”

I still paid her the quarter that day, because she had learned an important lesson.  And because I need to keep that wheel good and greased in order for it to keep rolling my way.

One Response to “Shoes, Socks, and a Sister”

  1. Catrina
    June 30th, 2011 10:50

    This is a great idea! My HF 7yo cannot tie his shoes still, but can get slip ons on just fine. My 5 & 6 yo’s CAN tie their shoes and I know they get disgruntled sometimes when they need to help my 7yo with something that comes so easily to them. (Like riding a bike as well). I think it was a really good lesson for your daughter, and really good that your son was communicating his needs to her as well!