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Research Study

Please read below information regarding research that you may wish to participate in:

Study Title: ‘The Role of Footwear in the Experiences of Autistic Children and their Parents’.

Aneta Kuczynska, as part of her PhD research in the Department of Science and Health at the South East Technological University, is conducting a study on the “Role of footwear in the experiences of autistic children and their parents”. This study is being supervised by Dr. Peter Francis (SETU), Dr. Sharon Kinsella (SETU) and Dr. Ashley Jones (Leeds Beckett University).

Sometimes the sensory stimulation associated with footwear use may contribute to behavioural difficulties commonly observed in autistic children, for example refusal to wear shoes and reluctance to engage in social-physical activities. It can be a challenging task for parents to purchase appropriate and adaptive footwear that autistic children can wear. All this can profoundly impact the health outcomes and quality of life of autistic children and their parents.

This study aims to:

  1. Survey the experience of parents of autistic children and young autistic people (where appropriate) about challenges related to footwear in Ireland and the UK.
  2. Survey the experience of parents of autistic children and young autistic people (where appropriate) about the purchase of suitable footwear in Ireland and the UK.

Parents will be asked to complete the questionnaire for those between the ages of 4 to 12 years old. However, young people aged 13 to 18 can fill it in themselves if they wish, with their parents consent.  Due to the nature of the questions, part 1 of the young person version of the questionnaire is directed to parents/ guardians and will need to be filled out by the parent/guardian.

Each household is asked to fill out one of the available questionnaire versions—either the adult version OR the young person version

Benefits of partaking in this study

These research findings will provide a valuable guide for parents and families of autistic children and sensory-sensitive children regarding suitable footwear. Likewise, the proposed research results can inform future research, public views, and product development (shoe wear). Specifically, this study may provide a basis for brands and retailers for more adaptive, more inclusive and functional shoes for children with sensory sensitivities.

If you wish to participate in the above research please click on this link –

Further Information

If you require further information or have questions regarding participation in the study or the study itself, you can contact Aneta Kuczynska, who can be emailed at