Real Life

Mum's bid to find autistic son's favourite shoes from Mothercare has a beautiful ending

The mum of an autistic boy has thanked Mothercare in a now-viral Facebook post for their kindness.

Some parents of autistic children will know the struggle that comes with trying to replace clothes that have become old, too small or tatty.

Steph Opogah, whose son is autistic, found that her son loved a particular pair of shoes from Mothercare - which she says was a pretty big deal.

But when he outgrew them, she panicked when she couldn't find them in her local store to replace.

In a Facebook post which has now had over 36,000 shares, over 97,000 likes and over 10,000 comments, Steph described what happened next.

"My youngest son is 2 and a half. He's beautiful, funny, bright, affectionate and he also has autism. Around six months ago, I bought him a pair of pumps for him from Mothercare. They were really cute. They were brightly coloured and detailed with a toadstool and a rainbow.

"My son loved them. Which is really something, because he processes sensory information differently to some others. He can't tolerate the feeling of buckles or socks or wet grass beneath his toes. Some surfaces he's so sensitive to, he has to be carried. But he loved these shoes."

WATCH: Christine McGuinness talks candidly about her children being diagnosed with Autism on This Morning

"A little while ago, when his toes were beginning to burst through the side of his favourite shoes, I took him back to Mothercare to try some new ones. This time, he wouldn't let any other shoes touch his feet. He became totally overwhelmed and frightened if I attempted to put shoes on. The whole store was staring at us as his screams reached every corner.

"Mothercare no longer sold his favourite shoes, and he wasn't willing to try any others. I was stuck.

"I asked at the main desk if I could order some in, but was told that wasn't an option, but I could give head office a call. So I called them once I got home and relayed my predicament.

"A kind lady told me she would do her best to help."

After receiving Steph's call, Mothercare sent Steph and her family a whole box full of the shoes, in many different sizes and designs.

Steph explained: "Today this arrived in the post. I am overwhelmed! I called to ask how I pay for them, and Mothercare said they were a gift and that no payment was required.

"Struggles like this are a daily occurrence for families with Autism. But the journey is made so much easier when there is kind helping hands and hearts out there. Please share this for me and help me to say thank you Mothercare!"

Andy Harding, Mothercare Chief Customer Officer, told us: "We are delighted that Mrs Opogah and her son are happy with their new Little Bird shoes, and are very proud of our employees who took the initiative to arrange this kind gesture."

Faith in humanity = restored.

Are you the parent of an autistic child? Can you relate to this mum's predicament? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.


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