Sweet, sweet Matt.
Many of you are aware of my sweet brother Matt, a literally angel that was sent down to my family. I still don’t know or understand why we were lucky enough to have him come to our family. He is the best example around, keeps us always laughing, and is truly the most caring, giving person that you will ever meet. If you aren’t sure who Matt is or his story you can get caught up about him here. Matt’s life is far from easy and a lot of the things that make it tougher than mosts are things that most people don’t think about…
My sweet brother is 23 years old, yep you read that right, however how old does his tiny little body look? Maybe 12? Just maybe? One thing that has always been a challenge for Matt is finding clothes and shoes that fit him properly, are easy to get on, and a fabric that he doesn’t consider “itchy”. Matt always wants to fit in with the kids his age, he knows what they wear, the shoes that they have, everything down to their socks and hats. Matt wants to be just like his friends. My mom has always done an amazing job of making clothing work for him, things like cutting the toes off of socks and sewing them to be a smaller size, finding pants/shorts that are “cool brands” that the kids at school are wearing that have a drawstring so we can make them small enough to go around Matt’s tiny waist, etc.
When I recently heard about Zappos Adaptive: Functional and Fashionable Products to Make Life Easier I knew that it was the perfect fit for our family. Something that would take all the searching away from my mom that use to spend hours upon hours looking for clothes for Matt. Zappos private label brand, and Independence Day Clothing have changed the way that special needs parents and people will search for clothes. The array of offerings is expanding, but for now Zappos is focusing on 4-way reversible clothing, which gives a solution for dressing – anyway the clothing is put on, it’s on right, and easy access to shoes with alternative closures (no laces), such as hook-and-loop, slip-ons and bungee. There is no more worrying that your child will head out the door with their shirt on inside out or backwards while trying to be independent and dress themselves like all of us do every day and it is one of their major goals to do. It helps to give these amazing kids/adults a way to be independent and to gain the confidence that they can do something that we do too, something that makes them just like everyone else.
When I went to Zappos Adaptive: Functional and Fashionable Products to Make Life Easier, I was amazed at the different options that they had of everything from clothing without tags to shoes that are slip on’s all categorized easily to find the perfect fit for the person that you are shopping for. I let Matt shop with me, we went under the sections of sensory clothing (remember the “itchy” problem he has) and slip on shoes. He was so excited to be able to pick whatever he wanted without being told it wouldn’t work for him. Matt loves to wear slip on shoes because he can (after really pushing himself) slide off his left shoe without asking for help. Does it take him awhile? Yep. However, he feels on top of the world after he has done it and the confidence in his little bright and shining blue eyes is something that I will always remember.
Whenever I get asked to talk about Matt and people with disabilities as a family member and someone who knows and understands some things, not all, I always say if you don’t know what to do or say, even if you do know what to do or say, treat them just like you would anyone else. Say hi to them at the store, tell them that you like their shoes if you do, be their friend. That is all Matt wants is to be just like everyone else and I love that he can shop online easily just like everyone else now too thanks to Zappos Adaptive: Functional and Fashionable Products to Make Life Easier. I urge you to check out Zappos Adaptive: Functional and Fashionable Products to Make Life Easier let me know what your thoughts are, share it with your friends, and let’s help spread awareness to an amazing resource to help make lives just a little bit easier.