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Sometimes I think there is a mini-battle royale going on inside of Clara-Bear. The restrictive and isolating Autism is duking it out with the outgoing Down Syndrome. Something both ASD and DS do have in common is Sensory Integration issues. Of course, even within that, Clara-Bear is making up her own rules (ask her school O.T., who was kind of baffled by the conflicting results of the Sensory Profile I completed last year).
Clara-Bear has low muscle tone (hypotonia), which affects her nervous system. She has poor body awareness and decreased sensation in her hands and feet. She also has some tactile defensiveness. It's mostly around her head, but will affect her entire body if she's overstimulated. She can be a touch-me-not, or she could care less that the plastic price tag holder is still attached to her shirt label and scratching her neck.
Easy to see why I filed away Smart Knit Kids Seamless Sensitivity Socks as something that would interest able2able readers, but not a major need for us. Then I remembered to step outside the box. I have a nonverbal child with decreased sensation in her feet. I have to check her feet as if she is a diabetic. The only way she can tell me if her feet are uncomfortable is by refusing to walk.
I've learned to stop, remove her shoes, and check her socks and feet when that happens. I've found every reason for discomfort, from raw spots rubbed by her AFO's to bunched up socks. A light bulb went off - Smart Knit Kids Seamless Sensitivity Socks are not just for individuals who can't tolerate seams and bunching in their socks. These nonslip, nonbunching, seamless socks are also for individuals who are dependent upon others to figure out if they are uncomfortable.
Clara-Bear's legs have "bulked up" so much over the past 6 months that her new AFO's could no longer fit over her calves. But she still has narrow feet and skinny legs. This is how regular socks with heels fit.
There's always extra fabric that has to go somewhere when she wears shoes.
Definitely a difference with the Smart Knit Kids socks! No fabric bunching under her AFO's or in her sneakers. Mommy doesn't have to try to guess if she's tucking the excess sock in a way that feels right for Clara-Bear. Since I don't know how aware she is of sock fabrics, I find these super soft socks reassuring. I have no doubt that she is comfortable when she wears her Seamless Sensitivity Socks.
Now, because of the skinny legs, we had some slipping above the ankles with the socks we tried. Because Smart Knit Kids Seamless Sensitivity Socks are heel-less, I was able to pull the excess fabric away from her feet and toes so all the slipping happened above the shoes or AFO straps.
There was never any bunching inside the shoes and around the toes, even if the shoes were loose fitting or after wearing the socks for hours. The elastic free band stopped them from slipping any more than you see in these pictures. Regular socks keep on slipping. If she's wearing socks with no shoes she will pull them off because the heels get twisted around to the top and the fabric starts flapping when she walks. This does not happen with Smart Knit Kids socks.
The socks for the ankle - knee orthotics (only sold through orthotists) were really long, so we got creative with them and used them as leggings. Finally, a way to handle those Spring and Fall mornings. You know, you get dressed when it's 40 degrees outside, then by lunch the temperature is in the 70's and everyone's sweating?
Since the socks are heel-less, these will become regular knee length socks as Clara-Bear grows. Her crew length socks will become ankle high. How many socks do your kids have that can't be outgrown in a year or less?
I'm not worried about the slipping. That will decrease as her legs continue to get bigger and stronger. I expect these socks to be around for years. (Warning - do not make the mistake I did and wash the socks in hot water or you will get pilling. I'm smacking myself for that one!)
Here's what Smart Knit Kids says about their Seamless Sensitivity Socks (which are now sold up to women's size 11 and men's size 10 for bigger kids and adults!)
- SmartKnitKIDS® patented seamless socks are perfect for children experiencing sensory processing diﬀerences, hypersensitivity or who simply can’t stand annoying seams! These super soft socks for sensitive little feet will not wrinkle or bunch and are proven to reduce irritation.
- No Seams to Bug Ya! Completely free of seams, the patented kids' socks are designed to provide comfort and relief to children who struggle with “bumps & lumps” in their socks.
- Reduces annoying wrinkling and bunching in the shoe. Corespun yarns using Lycra and form-ﬁtting design result in children's socks that “hug” the foot reducing wrinkling and bunching. The form fitting design also helps to keep socks on the wiggliest of toes.
- Unique No Heel design. “No heel” design allows children to put on socks with confidence and keeps little feet from outgrowing their socks so quickly.
- Comfortable Non-Binding Top. Our non-binding Halo Top™ fits comfortably without slipping down the leg.Regular socks often have elastic bands at the tops of the sock that can often pinch, bind or be a source of irritation.
- Keeps Feet Dry & Healthy. SmartKnitKIDS™ Socks are made with high-tech ﬁbers that wick moisture away helping control odor or "stinky feet".
Smart Knit Kids has some great resources about Sensory Processing Disorder on their website, fun incentives for members of Bugsey's Sock Club, and a Facebook Fanpage. A blog is in the works.
Smart Knit Kids Seamless Sensitivity Socks are sold online, and are available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and in Denmark. Approximate retail value is $6.95 to $9.95 USD per pair.