HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE LAMENTED OVER getting your special child to shower/clean hair better/ use deodorant and more?
Hygiene issues affect people with Autism, Sensory Integration Issues, Special Needs, and a number of other people. HOW MANY HAVE JUST ABOUT GIVEN UP ON TEACHING THIS SKILL TO THEIR SON/DAUGHTER OR OTHER relation/student and more?
PLEASE DO NOT THINK I AM PICKING ON MY SON. If you look at the pictures, do you see the greasy and sticky look?
My sister had told me that Tanner had slept on her bed. An intense body odor on the sheets and bedding called for an immediate washing.
I promise I have going round and round on this issues. After a certain age, it is harder and harder for a mother to work on issues of washing well. In middle school or right before high school I tried one approach. I instructed him to try swimmer’s goggles. An example of this is posted below.
To no avail did this intervention work. Frustration can be a big block between solving problems. It seems simple now to tell you this. However, I understand the emotions of wanting to scream about this. Also, sometimes spouse’s ignore problems or can’t cope with them. Exasperation came with frustration escalating to peak levels like Mount McKinley or Denali (as the Indian’s/Eskimo’s call it). Hindsight is only gained after a person pushes through the tidal waves of these emotions. Give yourself a hand for solving many inquiries!!!
I love Tanner. Yet, this doesn’t mean it has always be a piece of cake trying to teach/parent him in preparing him for the world as an adult; especially after my death, husband’s and with no siblings.
Feeling desperate, I put my mind to the grindstone so to speak. God has been blessing me quite a bit lately. He is answering prayer right and left. God has helped Tanner get an A in Drama this semester, an A in Health last semester, and he is getting a B in Oklahoma History. Last year he had a one on one aide in US History all year. That was his first inclusive class in sometime. Tanner has taken tests this year with no accommodations. And, I started helping him with this..the teacher gave him preprinted notes to follow along in class at first. We use Bookshare ( https://www.bookshare.org/cms ) too. I have tutors. He takes his own notes now. Tanner has obtained a 100, 90 and 71 the last three tests (the 71 was a unit test that we didn’t help him study for because we didn’t know it….his 71 was without preparation over four chapters).
God’s most exciting blessing has been allowing Tanner and I to have better communication. Tanner will be getting a hair cut soon but not short-short because of his success in cleaning his hair. Now the story that lead up to this. I asked him about what he thought we should do. We spoke about suggestions by Jim (not his real name), his counselor, to help Tanner with things in this area. Everyone reading this probably knows about visual prompts and having flash cards with lists or pics of what/how to do things.
Reluctance was my first emotion. I had been through this before. Been there done that. In my head I am yelling, “NOT GOING TO WASTED MY TIME AGAIN!”
SOMETHING yanked my chain and I said I will try again. I read all about taking a shower. Autism blogs, magazines and such on how to accomplish satisfactory hygiene in teen Autistic’s and such. I knew Tanner didn’t like the comb to scrub his head. A suggestion I had made much earlier in his life.
A shopping trip was in order after a brainstorming session. As a pharmacist, using lab glasses or goggles are something I am quite familiar with and should have understood not liking the tight goggles in the shower. Below were my two choices to present to Tanner in this new attempt at good hygiene habits.
Tanner declared that neither one of these were his choice to use instead of the swimmer’s goggles. My son has a stubborn streak in him like me, his mother. Sometimes he just can’t let his mother be right. Another lesson of parenting. Butting heads over small things only results in bumps on your head with a major headache to boot. THE PLASTIC LAB GLASSES are his pick for wearing in the bath/shower to keep SOAP AND WATER DIRECTLY OUT OF HIS EYES.
Sensory issues are hard to work around. LET ME TELL YOU NOW THIS SENSORY ISSUE NEVER COMES IN TO PLAY WHEN HE WANTS TO OR WANTED TO SWIM WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER. Therefore, when thinking about sensory issues, keep in mind they may bother a person in one activity but be completely absent in another physical act.
Okay, look at the pictures from the rest of my shopping trip. Determination was my stance.
I BOUGHT A SHOWER HEAD WITH THE EXTRA HAND HELD ON PURPOSE. I installed all myself too! :;) :0)!! This would allow him to control the water better. I took the time to explain the complete reason to..at length. This seemed to make him think that I cared more for his comfort. Well, If I would have followed the Golden Rule in parenting, maybe it might have been easier.. No regrets. Parenting is tough. My models were tough. Dad was a teacher and retired Army Seargeant. He said do and we tended to do without question. My mom was semi-tough. Explanations from them about why they did or wanted me to do something? NO WAY!!
Above is the holder of the products I bought and wanted him to use in the shower.
Before he showered he was to rub off dead skin with this brush (exfoliates).
*************Check with your doctor about this. Check the links at the end of the article to decide what is best for you.
Too much exfoliating can be bad for you I believe. But we are talking about my son with autism. He can’t stand rubbing hard scratchy things on his body. Thus, I came to the conclusion that this as a step before a shower would eliminate time in the shower and help with the cleaning.
Here is the exfoliating brush.
>>>>>>>>>Word to the wise here if you read something about brushing therapy in those with autism…while looking this up!!
PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT DO THE therapy without instructions and under the care of a Health Care Provider. I have heard from a number of professionals this can cause problems if done wrong. Always check with your healthcare provider before implementing therapy/or such.
I purchased three plastic pump bottles for the shower. The first was filled with a dandruff shampoo (like T-Gel which cost almost $10.00). Number two was filled with conditioner. The last one was filled with a special body rinse.
Explicit instructions in the notebook chart said how many pumps of each to use.
Backing up to washing his hair, the brush below was his choice for scrubbing his head. ISN’T IT ODD THAT A PLASTIC SCRUB BRUSH MEANT FOR CLEANING FIT THE BILL FOR MY SON IN THIS AREA? One has to think vastly different in helping these young men and women find ways of cleaning without stressing themselves out. I understand. My mother is so tender headed that brushing her hair and finding a hairdresser has been a huge challenge.
Next are some other brushes he had to choose from.
HERE IS THE PICK FOR CLEANING HIMSELF.
IT IS BLUE AND DOESN’T LOOK LIKE WHAT MOM USES IN THE SHOWER. IT IS MALE NOT FEMALE.
On the back burner to try in the future if he will. Actually, I am wonder if trying these is a good ideal. They look like itchy. If he has a bad experience, then the whole gain of better hygiene may be in jeopardy.
These are the deodorants I bought because of the Aluminium zirconium. This is an antiperspirant. These contain a prescription strength or close to of the antiperspirant. This is one of the most effective for keeping people dry and less smelly. **********Note that some reports believe this much Aluminum is bad for the body (as in cancer causing and more issues) IN ORDER FOR HIM TO FEEL COMFORTABLE, I GOT a gel, spray and glide on.
It may seem excessive in going to such detail but one does get desperate. He needs to be presentable in this world to get a job. This will not happen right away but I am certain it will happen at his own rate of getting ready for it. I have no family to care for him once I die. I have to do all I can to make sure he is ready for the world.
I suggest that if you want Homeopathic or more natural options you check the health food store and related magazines. However, to help you on your way to looking for homeopathic and natural I inserted a couple of links for you to explore.Even
Amazon is into this field now. http://www.amazon.com/s?rh=n%3A3778451%2Cp_n_theme_browse-bin%3A389561011
The timer was for him to know when about even or eight minutes were up. My research showed this is how long a shower should take.
The rest shows how I laid out the sequence for him to get ready. I then put the visual picture ques next to them.
Some related posts I found that may be of interest.
DID HE DO AS I SAID THE FIRST TIME? DID IT ALL GO AS PLANNED? Of course not.
I observed and could figure some things out. Remember the expensive dandruff shampoo? He used a third of that or more to make a Bubble Bath. Talk about livid!!
About a week and half of observation after my rash reaction gave me some ideas. I needed the space to calm down and solve this little challenge. He wants his Bubble Bath. I love taking a bath too. This is helpful to relaxing him too. Important for those with high anxiety.
COMPROMISE AND SUCCESS
TANNER and I talked. I listened trying to make him comfortable. Now he does all of the cleaning stuff with his hair. Uses those brushes to make sure he gets cleaner. He starts with a Bubble Bath. He picked something else to rinse his hair. Dad gave him a cup. I HAVE done that before but remember all people have pride and some dignity. This is an expression of his freedom and becoming an adult. After he takes his Bubble Bath, he is to wash off body parts again one to two times then rinse off with either shower head.
I hope this helps you come to some hygiene solutions and compromises. GETTING HERE WAS NOT EASY BUT THANK GOD!!!