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12 year old Aspergers kid. Mommy needs help!!

Posted by on Nov. 13, 2017 at 4:10 PM
  • 8 Replies

Hi Ladies, 

My 12 year old son is in 7th grade, makes good grades and is doing really well at school according to the annual ARD and the teachers that contact me regularly. 

However, our home life is quite difficult. He's learned to make his own food (like mac and cheese) on the stove (minimal mess, WOW) but doesn't do things like shower regularly, brush teeth, dress in a timely manner (It took him 40 minutes to put on his uniform today), etc. 

It's all just basic 'taking care of yourself' stuff, but I feel that as a 12 year old he should be able to do this (without being asked/pleaded with) regardless of his diagnosis. 

I'm thinking about instituting a 'habit forming' type ritual where every day after school he does things in order, creating a much needed schedule (life has been crazy hectic for the last year or so) .

We recently went through a divorce, lived with my parents for almost a year while the divorce was pending, moved out by yourselves so ANY progress we had made previously was completely upheaved. 

Do you think this will help? Do you have any advice? 

by on Nov. 13, 2017 at 4:10 PM
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 13, 2017 at 5:01 PM
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Routines always ease the difficulty of transitional times. Id wonder tho, at 12, if he needs to weigh in on helping to solve these issues.
I mean, if his routine needs/should be, get up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, preferred activity until bus/walk/ride to school.

Maybe letting him have a say in the order (Aside from preferred activity). Would give him needed control and authority?

Id also positively reward following the routine at the end of each week with his choice for dinner Friday (pizza?) or some other positive thing to let him know job well done.

I think self healthcare is a struggle for many sprctrum kids based on sensory difficulty ( ive been told brushing teeth ACTUALLY hurts!) so getting buy in for these “difficult in their mind” tasks is key.

Even at chronological 12, please remember he can be more 8 and 15 with certain skills- their scattered- thats what makes it a disorder... but it sounds like he is doing SUPER!
by Gold Member on Nov. 13, 2017 at 5:18 PM

My son used visuals for doing all these activities when a preschooler. My son did really well following them.  Have visuals for your child.  Place them on his dresser or wall.

by on Nov. 28, 2017 at 2:07 PM

A schedule helps everyone whether we have great executive functioning skills (planning, initiating, time management,etc.) or not.  Main thing to keep in mind is some type of reward for moving faster and accountability (quiet supervision).  Most 12 yr old boys aren't real ijnterested in showers/ personal hygiene so maybe that happens at night instead of in the morning when time is more limited-  unless a shower is essential for him to wake up as it is for some people. Brushing teeth in the morning doesn't have to be done with toothpaste so he could be brushing his teeth in the car when going to school unless he takes the bus. A timer is usually very helpful to get someone moving faster.  Have him set it for a specific time to put on his uniform, and another time for eating breakfast, etc.  Make sure that he gathers books, homework, jacket etc. and places by the dooor before he goes to bed so that the main focus is getting ready/ dressing himself and eating breakfast. When supervising don't spend energy in explaining and reminding.  Use one word commands as reminders such as Shower, or Teeth, Breakfast., etc.   Most children at his age are in the habit of tuning out a lot of words so a reminder needs to be short and clear with a tone  that means what they say.  Be creative in how you will reward him for moving faster, praise plus something somewhat tangible.    Let us know what works for you and your ASD son.  It sounds like he is doing well otherwise in independence skills  Blessings to you!.

by New Member on Nov. 29, 2017 at 11:09 AM
Ok well my daughter will be 12 in a week. An she is kinda like that. But takes a shower every morning. An has OCD so she is also very difficult at times. As much as I can do a rutene it is also very hard. I have just come to live with it
by on Dec. 4, 2017 at 6:07 PM


I have found that kids with ASD really do well with routine. My son is now 21 but we still have certain charts and routines that we use to help him keep things in order. He still has a hard time remembering to take a shower, brush his teeth, and even remember to change to his clothes. It gets better but only after he has done the same thing over and over again.

by Silver Member on Dec. 5, 2017 at 7:57 AM

I use visuals, the school started doing it and they seen progress with that so I started the same at home and it does help. Nothing is perfect but he keeps the routine for the most part.

by Member on Dec. 6, 2017 at 4:13 PM
My daughter is 11 and we are having similar issues, she has to be reminded to wash her hair when she showers, I have to remind her to brush her teeth, and if I don’t nag her she wind brush her hair at all. I’m not sure if it’s a tween thing or part of the autism or a little of both. It’s kids of frustrating though.
by New Member on Dec. 13, 2017 at 7:53 AM
My son (15) will only follow visual cues as well. If I nag he withdrawals from the idea.
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