One of the most challenging things more me as a parent to an #Autistic almost teenager, is personal hygiene. Gavin simply has not concept of self care type things.
I’m trying to help him become a little more self-aware.
I think that I’m actually going to make up some signs that will help him remember a few of the basics. You might be wondering what I mean by personal hygiene? Basically, I’m referring to things like wiping food, drink or toothpaste off his face instead of walking out the door to school without cleaning his face.
I’m working on helping him recognize things like his nails needing trimmed or his clothes need changed because they’re dirty.
I have tried to make up little quizzes to aide in the process of remembering. For example, before he walks out the door to go to school, I’ll ask him what he should check before leaving the house? Sometimes that will spark a memory and other times it won’t. I haven’t figured that out.
Another hygiene concern and honestly, my personal pet pieve, is when he wipes his nose on his shirts. He can never wear a shirt for more than a day because it’s literally covered with unwanted visitors from his nose. It’s really gross and most definitely not sanitary. No matter how many times I remind him about this, it never sticks, at least not as well as the boogers do to his shirt.
With all that said, he is making some progress, it’s inconsistent, but progress nonetheless.
He does really well in the bathroom department, thank god for that. He washes his hands and brushes his teeth etc. He will even ask if he can trim his nails at times. I find that reassuring because he has to have at least a minimum level of self-awareness to notice that his nails need trimmed.
He also takes a shower all by himself, and recently started setting the shower up for himself, all by himself as well. That’s progress if I’ve ever seen it.
This process is slow, frustrating and sometimes even painful so. However, I believe that this is something that is extremely important for Gavin future independence. Honestly, at times it feels like I’m just beating my head into the wall, but everytime he does something on his own, it makes all the effort totally worth it.
How have you handled teaching your child personal hygiene? I would love to hear your stories.
**Thanks for reading**
-Lost and Tired
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This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.