Do your ASD children struggle with personal hygiene? I think that it’s pretty typical for Autistic children to need some help in the hygiene department. I know that Gavin does, especially when it comes to his face. He will get up from eating walk around with food all over his face like shrapnel from an exploded bomb. I have been encouraging him to take some time out of his day to look in the mirror, especially after eating to make sure his face is clean. As he gets older it becomes more and more important for him to do some of these things on his own.
He does the same thing when brushing his teeth. He literally gets tooth paste all over his face and just walks around like it’s not there. Sometimes it’s so bad it looks like he has rabies or something. One of the things we have to do is teach him to pay just a bit more attention to his appearance, while appearance is NOT everything, it does unfortunately, send a message. I want to instill these skills in him so when things like shaving arrive, we are already moving in the direction of independent personal hygiene.
Maybe this seems unreasonable to some but if he’s going to be independent and have a job, he needs to be able to address his basic hygiene on his own. We want all our children to reach their potential and be as happy and productive a member of society as possible. So it’s important that we work on the basics now so that they learn to do some of these things on their own without always having to be reminded. There’s nothing wrong with taking some pride in their appearance as long as they understand that appearances aren’t everything and that’s where one of the challenges reside. Most ASD kids see the world in black and white and so they tend to take things to one extreme or the other, at least that’s my experience. We need to show then that the world is made up of a rainbow of colors and help them to find a middle ground on things. Not an easy task….but that’s why we are the special needs parents and not someone else. We can handle this..right? At least that’s what I keep telling myself.