When The Shoe Is On The Other Foot


My 23- year-old son Geo has a cognitive disability and still has trouble putting his shoes on the right feet.

I always joke that if he could pick the lottery numbers with the same knack that he has for consistently putting his shoes on the wrong feet I would have been a millionaire a long time ago…..

In The Beginning

Over the years I have tried a million things to help him learn this skill.

When he was small I used a Sharpie and wrote an “L” and an “R” on the inside of his shoes and tried my best to teach him his left from his right.

Singing & Dancing

When he went to school “left” and “right” became an IEP item and the staff at school tried a variety of different techniques to help him master the concept.  They gave him seat work that focused on right-hand/left-hand differentiation & taught him songs that were designed to help his brain with crossing the midline.  We performed these songs every night before bedtime in the living room and to this day I can still remember one of them:

“right hand to your left shoulder, left hand to your right, crossover, crossover ev-er-y-day – crossover to build your body and brain!”  

These songs were fun but they didn’t really work. Every morning Geo would still put his shoes on the wrong feet, grab his backpack and happily makes his way to the school bus walking like a duck!

Watch This

As he got older, I bought him a really cool watch to wear on his right wrist.  Then, I fastened a small bead to the laces of his right shoe and told him that the shoe with the bead on it always goes on the “same side” as his watch.  This worked for a while until he decided that he didn’t like the “feeling” of his watch anymore and he wouldn’t wear it.   At this point, the whole system broke down…..

Pinterest Saves The Day!

Eventually, I resigned myself to the fact that he just wasn’t going to learn his right from his left and I just kept reminding him when his shoes were on the wrong feet.

Then, the other day at the bowling alley, Geo was struggling with his shoes and a friend made a suggestion;  she said she saw on Pinterest that some smart mama had gotten a round sticker, cut it in half and put one-half inside the left shoe and one-half inside the right.  Then, all her daughter had to do, was line up her shoes before she put them on and make sure that they showed a whole circle – BRILLIANT!

I just LOVE these little LIFE HACKS.  Sometimes the simplest, inexpensive ideas have the biggest impact.  I have started a DISABILITY LIFE HACK board on our FATWHEELS Pinterest site.  Here is the link: https://www.pinterest.com/fatwheels/

Connect With Us

Also, please SHARE your struggles & ideas here in the comment section. Let’s get the conversation going –  you never know when you may find a solution for a problem that you are trying to solve or have an idea that will help someone else.

Until next time,


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