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Help for Kids with Dyspraxia: Yankz! Review

Help for Kids with Dyspraxia: Yankz! Laces ~

“I wanted to show you these shoe laces I’ve been using. I think that D1 would really benefit from having a pair of these, with his fine motor struggles.”  His occupational therapist pointed to her shoelaces, called Yankz!, and explained how they work.

“You just lace them in, cinch them down, and go. He could just slide his feet into his shoes and eliminate a whole bunch of steps in getting ready for the day.”
Seriously?! Eliminate steps? Just slide his feet in? Save time?!?!

Having kids with fine motor difficulties, shoe tying has been a bit of a blessing and a bit of a curse. It has been a blessing because they finally learned HOW and were ABLE to get them tight enough that they stayed tied. Mostly. It’s also been a curse because now I depend on them to get ready to leave. And it takes time. Lots. of. time.

Motor planning that comes naturally to you and I does NOT come naturally to a child with developmental dyspraxia. Motor planning is the whole issue. When you give them a task that has a lots of steps, it’s hard enough. Give him a task that has lots of fine motor steps, and you’ve got…. enough time to make lunch for four people, and EAT, while you wait for him to put on his shoes and get them tied. Yes, really. What I need is a way to save time. Enter Yankz!

I asked for, and received, some Yankz! to try out. I discovered that they were MUCH more generous than I ever hoped for, when this arrived in the mail:

We immediately set to choosing and, er, installing them. It is rather a bit of a process, lacing in these elastic strings with the plastic pulley hook thingy, but we followed the directions on the inside of the package, and went to it. Even the boys set to work on their own. D1, our budding pre-adolescent 11 year old, chose royal blue laces, the same color as the trim on his Cons. D2 chose light blue, which didn’t exactly match his shoes, but he’s a 9-year old boy. They don’t care about things matching. He just likes blue.

As for me, I was super excited to see REFLECTIVE Yankz! Laces, with reflectors on them! You may think I’ve lost it, but you don’t go running at 6am, when it’s still dark out. The only thing that would be cooler is if they lit up. :) With our newly laced Yankz!, we went about our business.

Our experience:

Yankz! have definitely improved our time-out-the-door. I can tell the boys that it’s time to leave, and they can have their shoes on their feet in moments. Record time! D1 has really appreciated them because he knows how long it takes him to go through the process of putting on his shoes. He likes that he can easily tighten or loosen them, depending on how his feet are feeling, with just a tug or two. His occupational therapist was right. These are perfect for him!

Our other son, 9-year old D2, also likes his Yankz!, but his experience hasn’t been quite as good. This boy is the human equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil. He CAN tear apart a steel anvil, on accident, and not even slow down to view the destruction.  Things disintegrate in his presence. So did his Yankz!  It is probably also due to the fact that he has these really heavy, wide skater shoes and Yankz! were definitely NOT made for skater shoes.

For me, Yankz! are fantastic. My running shoes are happy. I am happy. I am reflective!! :D And my shoes never, ever come untied any more.

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14 Responses to Help for Kids with Dyspraxia: Yankz! Review

  1. DeDe Smith January 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    My son is 10 and autistic and has yet to be able to tie his shoes. This would be truly amazing to have for him!

  2. crafty_cristy January 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I would like anything that would help my 7 year old and my 4 year old get their shoes on. They don't have any developmental delays, but it takes them awhile to get going, and especially for my 4 year old, it frustrates her.

  3. Gerriann Armstrong January 24, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I would love anything that would help my 9 year old with ASD to get his own shoes on! Mr. H (My son) gets so frustrated trying to tie his shoes. He is working hard to learn how but anything that helps him be more like the other kids is awesome. Would love to try them out. Thanks for the opportunity.


  4. Gerriann Armstrong January 24, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Forgot to add that I found your review on Facebook where I am a follower of your page. Love the information you share!

  5. Betsy Negley January 24, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    I have a 9 year old daughter who has hypotonia. She can tie her shoes sort of, but we are constantly re-tying them because she can't get them tight enough. I would love to have these. I am going to go buy some if I don't win these!

  6. Betsy Negley January 24, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    Following you on Twitter (@bookworm0709)

  7. cassie January 25, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    My 11yo son goes through laces like you would not believe! I'm not sure why, but they don't stay tied, and get shredded when he walks on them. These would be a huge money saver for us!

  8. Head Ant January 25, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    My son's confidence would go up if he could put on his own shoes without difficulty.

  9. cassie January 25, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    I also follow you on twitter. :)

  10. Michelle @ Changed B January 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I'd love to give these a try! I take care of a little one with autism, and she has not yet learned to shoe-tie. I also am a runner, and wouldn't mind trying out those reflective laces (I'm a runner short on gadgets and could use something to show off at the next running club meeting!). I already follow your fb page and twitter and actually tagged you on my fan page yesterday. I hope I am the lucky one! THANKS!

  11. Wayne July 10, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Lock Laces is another great product forkids that need a little extra help. Even easier to use.

    • Dawn Perkins July 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      Thanks for the recommendation Wayne. I looked them up. The look identical to Yankz. :)

  12. wojtek November 13, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    The most important part is not in the article.

    Yankz are assembled in Lawrenceville,GA, at Hi-Hope Center by adults with developmental disabilities.

    I was watching them doing the work and they are very proud of their job and extremely appreciative for having the contract with Yankz.

    • Dawn November 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

      Wow! I really didn't know that. This wasn't an article about Yankz as a company. It was just a product review… but I think that is fantastic!