August 9, 2022 Teaching Autistic Children Proper Hygiene
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can negatively impact your child's ability to focus on their personal hygiene.By the time you're done with this article, you will know exactly what you need to do to help your autistic son or daughter reach the desired cleanliness and personal hygiene goals.
How does autism affect personal hygiene?Due to the psychological and sensory challenges that they face, keeping healthy and hygienic is sometimes difficult for autistic individuals.For a start, several types of mental illnesses, such as depression, can cause your child to neglect self care and cleanliness. This is a common sign of mental health problems among both autistic and neurotypical kids.However, because of their delicate sensory functions, those with an ASD diagnosis may experience this problem more severely.Here is how these sensitivities could impact their personal hygiene:
- Your child may not be able to tolerate a strong-smelling soap or shampoo. If this is the case, replace their soap and/or shampoo with a scentless product or one that's designed for sensitive skin.
- The feeling of running water touching the kid's skin can feel unpleasant. To address this, consider giving your child a bath instead of a shower.
- The laundry soap or detergent that you're using could irritate your son or daughter's skin when they put on their clothes. Buying alternative products may resolve this problem.
- In the same vein, the fabric or textile that their clothing is made out of might be uncomfortable. When this happens, you should try to find clothes with materials that your child can tolerate wearing.
What kind of hygienic activities do autistic children need to learn?Autistic kids tend to respond well to structures and routines. With that in mind, you may want to establish a consistent daily schedule that includes cleaning and self care.This is a very effective method for teaching an autistic boy or girl about the hygienic activities and habits that they need to maintain. Splitting these tasks into morning and evening ones can make this strategy more successful.
Hygienic Morning RoutineHere are some of the hygienic activities that should be part of your child's morning routine:
- Wake up and make the bed
- Go to the bathroom for a shower or bath
- Use the towel for drying the hair and body
- Put on a bathrobe or pajamas, and then the slippers
- Brush their teeth
- Comb their hair
- Go to the dining room for breakfast
- Put away the dishes after eating
- Get dressed, starting with the shirt, then the pants, and, finally, the socks
- Put on the shoes before leaving the house
Hygienic Evening RoutineSimilarly, here is a potential hygienic evening routine that your child could follow:
- Wash the hands before dinner
- Have dinner and then put the dishes away
- Go to the bathroom to wash the hands and mouth
- Wash the face
- Brush and floss
- Comb the hair
- Go to the bedroom to change
- Get undressed, starting with the shirt, then the pants, and, afterwards, the socks
- Place the dirty clothing in the laundry basket
- Put on pajamas, beginning with either the shirt or pants