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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

It's all about the small steps

Posted by on Jul. 21, 2014 at 2:22 AM
  • 18 Replies
3 moms liked this

Gillian is almost 13, and still needs a lot of help with hygiene. She has super thick, curly, wiry hair, which she simply can not wash properly. About once a week, she gets in her bathing suit, and I put her in the tub so I can painstakingly (and back breaking) comb through all of her curls (they knot up so bad, it usually takes about a quarter of a bottle of conditioner, and 45+ minutes to comb out). That way, it's washed good, and left to soak in conditioner to help soften it. 

At her age, she has leg and underarm hair, which does not bug her too much, but she is fine having it removed. I tried starting her off with nair on her legs, but the smell bothered her, and she hated sitting with it on. 

She was terrified to use a razor, but she was fine letting me use one, so maybe once a month (or less in the winter), I would help her shave her legs and underarms. Tonight, I asked if she wanted to have her armpits shaved- she said no, they were fine, but wanted her legs shaved. 

I started, but she said no, I want to try. She shaved both legs by herself. She missed some spots, but she did it all on her own. 

I am so happy for her- she was excited to do it on her own, and it's a big step towards being in charge of her hygiene. I know it's an area she will always struggle with, but this is one less thing I have to help with.


no matter what struggles there are, focus on the small things. Small things add up. 

by on Jul. 21, 2014 at 2:22 AM
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Replies (1-10):
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jul. 21, 2014 at 5:37 AM

This is wonderful news..I'm excited for you guys!

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jul. 21, 2014 at 7:47 AM

 They sure do mama! I'm proud of Gillian...it's a hard transition for girls and she is doing just fine.   =)

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Jul. 21, 2014 at 7:49 AM

That is great news!  Yay!

Logansmom1999
by Kristina on Jul. 21, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Your baby is growing up Mama!

Bajanmama
by Member on Jul. 21, 2014 at 8:36 AM

That's great! I'm afraid to start with a razor on my son because he will definitely try it himself and I don't think he can do it safely yet. My husband mentioned it up to yesterday. His pits stink but i think he doesn't soap them up enough, or he soaps up the same one twice or something. And he never remembers roll-on :( but your post gives me hope.

MamaLauri
by Bronze Member on Jul. 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM
1 mom liked this

Fantastic!

Most of us do hygiene for social reason, less for health. Even though we feel better after a bath/shower. Gillian might not have that as a strong drive.

You can try taking a picture of her all clean in her favorite outfit with an object she likes but does not obsess over. Frame the picture, and put it in her bathroom possibly next to the visual list of steps to get there. Remind her how good it feels to be clean.

Are there cute hair cuts that would make her hair easier to care for?

Bobcatridge
by Carol on Jul. 21, 2014 at 10:17 AM

My daughter is also 13 yrs old with thick curly hair - she calls her hair a mane and it is.  She wouldn't get it cut for years.  It was so long that she could sit on it and brushing it was always traumatizing.  Finally she agreed to a hair cut and donated the hair to Locks of Love.  With the shorter hair she took an interest in taking care of her own hair.  Best thing ever!  So I so understand that hair issue.

Charizma77
by Carissa on Jul. 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Thanks for sharing.   This was very encouraging :)

AnnaNonamus
by Bronze Member on Jul. 21, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I have found a lot of cute cuts, but she is not excited by them at all. I think I have talked her into a cut, though. I finally told her to sit down at the computer and do her own searches. She came back with a photo of Meg Ryan. I also spent some time today hunting down a stylist familiar with curly hair- the last time we went in was November, and the woman cut layers on, and cut it wet- both things I have learned are no-on's with curly hair. The layers create fly-away frizz, and when it's wet, you don't see where the curl lays. 

So, I found a stylist, got her to agree to a cut, and I think that will take care of a lot of her hair issues,  it's just so thick, she can't get shampoo through it and all rinsed out on her own. It always ends badly. ;)

Quoting MamaLauri:

Fantastic!

Most of us do hygiene for social reason, less for health. Even though we feel better after a bath/shower. Gillian might not have that as a strong drive.

You can try taking a picture of her all clean in her favorite outfit with an object she likes but does not obsess over. Frame the picture, and put it in her bathroom possibly next to the visual list of steps to get there. Remind her how good it feels to be clean.

Are there cute hair cuts that would make her hair easier to care for?


buffalove23
by on Jul. 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM
What about an electric razor? I had one when I was 12 or 13. I didn't like the feeling of shaving on my skin but was okay with the electric one. (I use a regular razor now)
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