Putting on Shoes and Socks

This video shows a later stage of teaching a child to independently put on her socks and shoes. During earlier stages your child will likely need much more physical guidance through each step, in order to learn how to put on his or her socks and shoes independently.

Remember, it's important to make sure everything your child will need, such as two socks and a matching pair of shoes, is in its designated area.
It's important that these things are kept in the same area throughout the learning process, in order to help your child follow all the necessary steps successfully.

If you've previously identified a preferred reinforcer for your child, such as a preferred toy or treat, make sure it's readily available for you to immediately provide after a successful teaching trial.

During each teaching trial, the therapist will begin by telling the child what she wants her to do using one clear, brief statement, such as 

"put on your socks and shoes."

Notice that throughout the task, the therapist remains close to the child, but not directly in front of the child, providing light physical guidance to the child's hands or forearm area as needed.

Although this child has begun to master some of the steps throughout the task, it's important to remain close enough to quickly prevent her from skipping a step or completing a step incorrectly.

Catching and correcting these errors quickly is important to ensure that all steps are completed correctly and in the same order, to reduce the chances of repeating the same errors in the future.

Remember, each child is different, and will become more independent at completing these steps at different rates. For many children, it's likely to take many trials over a period of days or weeks for them to begin mastering each step. "

If at any time your child is resisting the learning trials, you may need to step back and provide time to calm down before trying again, but it's important to limit any attention during this time.

If your child is consistently resisting learning trials, it may be best to discontinue until you have the chance to consult with a professional behavior therapist, such as a BCBA or BCaBA.