Parents are rejoicing over the new line of shoes Vans has released that are designed specifically with autism spectrum disorder in mind.
“Since 1966, Vans has stood as a champion of individuality and self-expression,” reads their press release. “With this project, Vans celebrates the unique aspects of all people.”
Connie LaBouff told CNN she was almost brought to tears when she saw the collection. Her son Logan, 8, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when he was 3.
“He has limited expressive language and has always struggled with shoes,” she said.
She said it’s been hard to find shoes for him as he has gotten older, especially ones without laces since he isn’t capable of tying his shoes.
Most of the shoes in the collection are designed as slip-ons for easy-on capabilities. One designed exclusively for kids and toddlers also offers a single strap hook-and-loop closure to ensure fit.
“The single strap hook and loop will allow him to put his shoes on and adjust them to the tightness he personally needs,” LaBouff said. “The reinforced toe means that he will be able to wear a pair he is used to longer without the anxiety of changing shoes.”
Joyce Skogen, whose daughter is on the spectrum, echoes LaBouff’s sentiment for the new collection.
“As the mother of a child on the spectrum it has been difficult finding clothes and shoes that meet my daughter’s needs,” Skogen told CNN. She said the slip-ons offer her daughter some independence.
“I appreciate it when manufacturers bring to light issues that are important to the general public.”
Vans will be donating a minimum of $100,00 of the proceeds from this collection to A.skate Foundation, a non-profit that teaches skateboarding to children with autism.