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Special needs daughter (12yrs old) and hygiene

We are at our wits end to get into our 12yr old's head that hygiene is very important if you don't want to be teased or refuse to be around her because she stinks. She is diagnosed with CI and is at a 2nd grade level but old enough to understand. She actually started at 9yrs old with a very strong body odor and we are always reminding her to take showers, to stop wearing the same clothes the next day (she would wear them all week if we let her). And now on top of it she started her monthly and another battle of making sure she wears her pads and changes them. We have both her teacher and special ed teacher along with the school counselor talking with her but so far the message has not affected her at all to care about her hygene. And I don't want a teasing situation to finally open her eyes. She does need consistency because of her special needs and would like ideas to get her on a schedule and do it on her own.

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Asked by Elkana at 9:33 AM on May. 11, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (9)
  • I understand she is special needs, but just the same, it is pretty normal for any 12 year old girl. Unfortunately, they have to find out the hard way sometimes. I remember when I was that age, I would never change mine.... I had to get older to understand it all. Just keep reminding her Mom.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:41 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • How about a chart of some sort? Even tho 12 year olds behave like this, you still could make it worth something to her. If she showers and changes her clothes for a week, maybe you could reward her with something small , then if she makes it month maybe movies or a new video game. It worked wonders with my brother. He was very challenging to stay the least. Good Luck!

    Answer by Yebbers at 9:51 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • She should be using deoderant everyday. Make sure that it is alumimum free, like a mineral crystal.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:06 PM on May. 11, 2009

  • i have a 13 year old daughter also. i would try making her a special schedule that u supervise with,such as shower time every nite or morning,fresh clothes nomatter what,brush teeth, and deoderant,that way if u show her ots the "clean-up" rule she might like washing up,and maybe some body sprays and fun shower gels for girls as rewards. my daughter went thru that stage a bit,, i hope this helps.

    Answer by luvkids329 at 1:10 AM on May. 12, 2009

  • I have several students in my dance program that are special needs (seizures and other impairments) where they are mentally less mature than their actual age. I also have a cousin who is special needs again mentally less than her actual age. The one thing I do know is, these kids work best on schedules, but schedules you the parent must be sure they create, they follow, then hope after a year or so they follow the same schedule as they grow/mature. I know it seems like a lot of work but you have to remember, they struggle enough being special needs, and your daughter it will take time for a schedule to be formed but that is the route I would take, and would be the most likely to succeed in the long run of her doing it on her own, but it won't happen over night, and don't slack not even one day.

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 9:56 AM on May. 12, 2009

  • The schedule idea is great. I would also get her really involved in wanting to do it. Set aside a special time when you can take her shopping. Help her pick out her own shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, whatever she needs to use. None of my children are special needs but I have noticed that when they get a say in something (like what scent of shampoo or whatever), they are more likely to want to use it. Good luck!

    Answer by funnyface1204 at 11:23 AM on May. 12, 2009

  • I know it is hard! My daugther is aspie! She is sensitive to everything under the moon! I bought soaps that are unscented like oil of olay body wash with a puff! What is her favorite color? Is she into any characters like Hannah Montana? I also get the suave kids shampoos and been trying for to put dove deodorant on and brush her hair! Which is long and baby fine which get alot knots in them! Brushing her teeth is a job in its self! And I can wait for her monthly to come! My girlfriend is going through the same thing ! So I know what you are going through!

    Answer by wlradun at 12:53 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • I realize the investment of your time is already more than most... I am the mom of an ADHD son... and the time involvement to help him stay on track is monumental. Generally speaking, I find the best way to get these kinds of things under control is to... invest more time... sorry. But it can be FUN time. Your daughter may or may not be "girlie" but I would make it a fun time for you and her to go in each evening after her bath and figure out what she might like to put together for tomorrow. That way you get the dirty clothes in the hamper and something NEW out. Get her to put on her deorderant after her evening shower... no need to "rememeber" it in the morning. Talk about her day while you comb out her just washed hair... experiment with hairstyles and see if she'll let you put on some lotion.... my son LOVES for us to put lotion on his feet & legs! Too Funny! Then you've spent time together & taken care of the issue!!

    Answer by M1ch3ll3Ann at 2:15 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • maybe make a chart for her on what she has to do everyday or post notes like in the bathroom like dont forget to brush your teeth or take a shower day or things like that.....have her pick out her clothes the night before so she knows she has to change....Of course you will still have to remind her but maybe after a couple months she will be able to do it on her own.

    I have a SD whose 14 and when she comes over we still have to remind her to shower brush her teeth and change her clothes.....We also have a SD whose 9 (we just got full custody of her) and we have a chart for her its been 5 months and i still have to remind her to take a bath shes gotten a lot better at brushing her teeth.
    Good luck

    Answer by tomsjennabean at 2:12 PM on May. 13, 2009

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