How do you wear yours?
With no verbal communication or the ability to express their needs other than crying, laughing, dropping to the ground, which can all mean happy, sad, angry, hungry, fed up, it is important that our eldest child wears their socks inside out.
It's often considered to be a control issue from the parents of a child in care, often it is the only area of control they have when their child moves into a care facility.
As a parent and as a carer, I've seen and been on both sides.
I used to work in a Residential home for children who were severely affected with their autism. One set of parents would inspect their child's wardrobe on each visit and complain about the staining on clothing and odd and missing socks.
It would upset the staff who all did their best to keep up with the cleaning, personal hygiene, laundry, cooking, education and just life in general with someone who would lash out, bite staff, run away, sit naked in the car park. Just keeping their child, others and themselves self was a full time job.
But I understand where the parents were coming from. They spent a fortune of good quality clothing that their daughter liked. You've no idea how many times we had to return to places often after our shift to collect items that had been 'posted'
Their 16 year old daughter was in care because they could no longer manage these things by themselves, the only area they had control over any more was the clothes they bought her.
We've been battling with our eldest's care staff for years over their socks. We don't care if the socks are odd or if they get lost, if they're dirty at the end of the day, all we care about is that they are put on inside out.
It's not a difficult request, it is on their care plan and we have explained the reasons why, numerous times.
With mobility issues and having been born with talipes, it is essential their feet are looked after, not having walked until the age of 8, mobility is the only aspect of their life they have any control over.
There used to be special boots made, but we were able to source supportive boots on the high street, which support the ankle and the arch, enabling them to walk, in comfort, without feet getting sweaty and more importantly no rubbing to cause blisters.
Wearing socks the right way can cause blisters, where the cotton and the pattern can rub the foot and as explained above, finding out what is wrong when their reaction ranges from crying through to laughter regardless of the issue, is a process of elimination, starting with drink, food, pad change, temperature, injured, in pain and if so, where?
Usually if the feet are hurting they just stop walking, they can't tell us, can't just fiddle with their footwear themselves or point or lift their foot up to indicate something is wrong.
It's the only request we make of the staff, we appreciate all they do, we make the request not only for our eldest's benefit to maintain their mobility, but for the staffs benefit so they can attend activities, go for walks, visit places easier with a mobile adult, rather than having to push a wheel chair or have to lift from seat to car etc.