Addressing Shoe Challenges on the Bus

  • Situation

    My 5 year old takes off her socks and shoes every 10 minutes when on her bus.  There is an aide on the bus, but the shoes aren’t always put back on. What can I do about it?

  • Summary

    Use of a schedule that includes a favorite item or activity may provide an understanding of when shoes can be on or off.  An alternate choice such as a favorite pair of slippers to substitute for the shoes until time to depart the bus may be offered.  As time goes on, if this strategy is successful for your child you can work on increasing the time the shoes are on during the bus ride.  An alternate intervention can be use of shoes that are difficult to remove such as high-tops.  If this strategy is implemented use of a visual schedule should still be used with a variety of favorite items/activities listed in the schedule.

  • Definition

    A schedule provides visual cues that can easily prompt understanding of when a child can have his/her shoes on and off and when to replace them.  Choices provide the child with appropriate control over a situation that is ‘doable’ for the child and caretakers.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Ability to comprehend words or pictures

  • Process

    • Determine a substitution for shoes for the bus such as a comfy pair of slippers.  The slippers may have a picture or shape of a favorite character or animal.
    • Create a visual schedule with words or pictures that can include a favorite item or activity as a special book or coloring book.   Be specific with the listing;
      • Get on the bus
      • Put on slippers
      • Read my book
      • When the bus lets off [put child’s name here] put on shoes
      • Put slippers in my bag
    • As the child becomes adept at this listing, begin to use a timer or cue for student departure that is sooner to increase the time the shoes are on.
    • Another strategy is to utilize shoes that may be difficult to remove such as ‘high-tops’.  If providing this shoe substitution a schedule that may include a number of favorite items or activities should also be provided.  The student can then go through the schedule accessing different items until arrival at home.
  • Documents and Related Resources

    shoe bus schedule (Word document)


    Shoe Snapshot (related answer on this site)


    Mini Schedule: Doctor’s Office (related answer on this site)


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