Friday, March 22, 2013

The Coolest Kicks in the Cave

Lucy has grown out of her first pair of AFOs (ankle foot orthotics). TheyR are still wearable, but her new ones should be ready to pick up within a week or two. New AFOs means new sneakers, and I wanted Lu to be able to pick them out herself this time. In order to fit over her braces they need to be at least a wide, but extra wide is even better. New Balance, Saucony, and Stride Rite have nice choices, and the website,, has free shipping and free returns so if I don't guess what size might be right for the new braces then we can return them for free and get a new size. I have to guess because the sneakers that will fit over the braces could need to be at least two and a half sizes bigger than what she actually wears.

While Lucy was patiently letting Bernie, the AFO guy, make casts of her legs, she also got to choose all of the colors for her new braces, so they are designed by Lu. I then looked at all of the sneaker possibilities on Zappos and chose 10 pairs that they had in the size I think she will need (9) and that will match nicely with her new braces. I then saved the images to my iPad. One day during lunch, Lucy told me if she liked each pair using her head and her yes and no buttons. She narrowed them down to six pairs that she said she liked.

I haven't mentioned here in my blog that we have a Tobii eye gaze device right now that we are borrowing and trying out so that we can prove Lu can use it (which she can!) and then we will ask the insurance company AGAIN to get Lucy one of her own (they already denied us once). With this device, Lucy can activate the screen with her eyes and can then communicate in a very efficient manner just with her gaze. So, I made two pages (pictured below) and Lu was able to use them to choose her favorites on each page using her eyes, and then I made a page of the two finalists and she chose her most favorite pair of sneakers!

I am so excited that she was able to do that and so proud that I have been able to figure out how to make pages on the Tobii. After we finished with the choosing Lu took a nap and I ordered her sneakers. As I was ordering them it occurred to me how different of an experience that was for us compared to how a "typical" toddler might get to pick out her new sneakers. Typically, you might just waltz into the local Target, JCPenney, Walmart, etc. and she could mill through the aisle looking at and touching her choices and then say, "I want these" and that's that. But, all I care about is that she was able to choose (from my choices!). Within my choices, however, I included a variety of styles. A few were super bright and wild, a few were very plain, and some were in between. I wanted to see what she prefers. She chose the Sauconys on the right.

When we are at Kindermusik I use sweatbands on Lucy's wrists to hold instruments for her like bells or drum sticks so she doesn't have to worry about using her hands, which seldom cooperate anyway, and then she can just play along with the other kids. One of the other mothers said one day, "Now that's thinking outside the box!" Later I thought, "Oh, was there a box?" We have been so far outside of the box for so long that I don't even think about doing things "inside the box" much anymore. Well, so long has just been three years, but it feels like it's been a long time. And now we choose sneakers outside of the box. I have never been a big fan of the box anyway.

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