#Autism, Hygiene and The Teenage Years O_o

There comes a point in my journey as a parent, where I truly find myself in a place where I don’t know what to do. I’ve found myself in one such place and I don’t know what to do. 

Gavin is reaching a point where in many cases, it’s think to breathe. 

God love him because he tries so hard but some of things he does just makes me want to scream. Here’s something that happened yesterday that had me wanting to literally be able to climb inside his head and experience his thought process because I’m at a complete loss.
  
Gavin’s been having serious bladder issues and the that’s supposed to help, isn’t. 
There has always been a rule in the house that significantly limited Gavin’s ability to touch food that someone else will be eating. He’s not allowed to grab his own bread for a sandwich or get his own grapes out of the giant bowl in the refrigerator. 

I’ve always felt bad about this but there’s a very good reason for this rule to exist. When it comes to , you never know where his hands have been.

Yesterday, he was walking through the living room I witnessed something that reminded me of at least one place his hands are um…..visiting. When his hand returned from the trip it was on, he smelled it. Teenage boys in general do some really weird stuff but this was a little beyond what I would consider normal teenage weirdness. 

I just sorta reacted without thinking and asked him why the heck did he just do that? He got upset at me as though that was an intrusive question. I simply told him that he’s not in trouble but he needs to do anything and everything revolving around that area of his body in private. 

He told me that this is how he checks to see if he’s had an accident.

I was all like, are you saying that you can’t tell if you had an accident unless you smell yourself? As far as I know, he’s not having accidents. This shows just how reduced his thought process is anymore. There’s obviously better ways to figure these things out and we spoke about that.

All I want him to understand is that you can’t do that shit in front of people. Go to the bathroom and check if you need to but for the love of God, wash your hands. 

This is exactly why that rule exists. You just never know. Gavin just doesn’t think about hygiene but it’s not from lack of trying to instill that in him.  He’s just oblivious. 

I keep hand sanitizer thoughout the house and I think I will just have him wash his haspnds at random intervals. We also need to get this bladder thing figured out and if possible, corrected because he truly is miserable. I’m just afraid that this isn’t correctable…😕



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  • EllenBeck

    Just a thought, but could be smelling to see if he is sweating there? He is a teen, and teens bodies are changing… perhaps there is a different ‘smell’ than there previously. He obviously has a keen sense of smell. If he is in briefs, perhaps try a pair of boxers to see if that reduces his sweating if thats it.
    Teen boys on or off the spectrum just plain do strange stuff, I mean really strange stuff. 
    He might havee told you about an ‘accident’ (pee) because thatts what you are used to.

  • JulieSullivanRelunia

    I kind of agree with Ellen. He’s starting to produce pheromones or whatnot.. And smelling different in general. Maybe his thought processes.. Haven’t processed the new scent yet.
    I’m going.. Odd, but still normal teen behavior.

  • Rebecca Bishop Curriden

    My daughter has bladder issues too caused by the meds she’s on. She can’t tell when she has to go pee. However, I am fortunate enough that she realizes and refuses to stay in wet clothes. I’m also fortunate because she washes her hands excessively. The one thing I’m not fortunate with is we believe she’s now gotten to where she intentionally pees herself. For example, we can’t let her play on our deck anymore because she will go out the door, stand by the railing, and just pee outside! It’s so frustrating cause she has to be supervised 100% of the time. There is no time for eyes off.

  • dotdash

    It seems so sad he’s so anxious about that all the time.  I’ve got girls, not boys, so take this for what it is worth.  Panty liners are great for relieving without being too bulky or self-conscious-making.  Maybe if he just had a bit of assurance that even if there were an accident, it was no big deal, clothing-wise?

  • Zaidee Martin

    My son had terrible bladder issues, it was constipation and . We cleared the constipation with ongoing drugs (after a year or so), but never could do anything about the anxious peeing. Going to the movies means leaving to pee 2-6 times. Also we spent 2 years in OT teaching him to wash his hands (and shower). He still smells some of the time. I just gave up doing anything about it in the short term and am hoping it gets better over time.

  • Janet Meliti

    Definitely in my continued thoughts and payers wow you definitely have your hands full in many ways and in areas on this and others aspects of your posts etc I can relate personally

  • Amy Aspified

    Many of us with smell ourselves like that. And yes I remember being a teen and wondering why my mom cared that I did stuff like that. Think of it like if you went to another culture where their custom was to randomly dip your hands in blue dye throughout the day, and people thought you were weird because you didn’t do it as you saw no point in the custom. That’s how I felt about hygiene, and still feel that way about certain things like shaving. Seems pointless and I don’t bother. I also have bladder problems and despite several procedures and meds I have to wear a diaper sometimes. Wearing one helps me have less anyway.

  • The Autism Dad

    Thank you so much for your deeply honest and insightful comment. Sometimes it’s hard to understand why my kids do the things they do but I truly appreciate your comment. U0001f44d

  • Susan Demetropoulos

    I totally get what you saying. With me doing all the hygiene stuff for Dustin. And his is what triggers that he thinks he need to go to the bathroom.
    But is at that age where he maybe exploring his body. Enough said there.
    But the washing hands is a thing many people still don’t do when the are out to eat, or are in public.
    Dustin when we are out. Even though he was his hands after he goes to the bathroom. I also have handi wipes at the table. Did you ever touch the handle of the bathrooms. Awful to say the least. Plus, I need to watch out for cross-contamination. People who go to the bathroom, have what they just ate on their hands even if they wiped there hands on a napkin. So I keep a wipe when he gets back.
    If Gavin has high to smell. What we may think is awful, they may think is attractive. For example, a cologne you wear I may think is very nice smelling. Where Dustin thinks it offending.