Teaching Personal Hygiene Self-Care Tasks
As you may know our family is working hard to teach my teenage brother with autism to be independent with every day tasks and some of those skills include personal hygiene self care tasks. My mom, really wanted to know where he stood with how much he could do on his own and how much he was needing help from her at home. So, we created these charts with the steps broken down for each task so we could monitor how much assistance he was needing with each skill. Then my mom could learn which steps he was needing the most help with and we could brainstorm ideas on ways he could do those steps more independently.
Here is a sample of 3 of the task analysis charts for you to preview! If you would like to download all for FREE please provide me with your name and email address below! Tasks you will receive: showering, bathing, brushing teeth, washing face, toileting routine for boys, girls, and bowel movement, and brushing hair!
For example, he was learning to wash his face every day with a new acne soap to help him with his skin. In the beginning my mom had to do each step for him because he hated to get his face wet with water and he was afraid to get soap in his eyes. One way we helped him with this fear was by having a dry towel within arms reach that he could get to if he felt like he was going to get water or soap in his eyes. This helped to calm him so that he was more willing to complete the task. Then each day my mom would try one simple step for him to try such as getting his hands wet and just touching this face and then gradually working to having him getting this face wet himself. This was a very slow process and we were very patient with him, but over time and with lots of repetition he was able to do this skill pretty much all by himself. Now my mom just stands by and watches incase he needs something and plus this helps with his fear as well.
As a family, we know that these skills can be difficult to learn and take lots of time and repetition to help our children learn to do these skills independently. We also know that there has to be somewhat of an intrinsic motivation for the child to want to be independent with the skill. For my brother, he was motivated to learn these skills to help his skin feel and look better and he had mentioned that he wanted to get married one day 🙂 So we had a conversation about how if you want to get a girlfriend you will want to smell nice for her. These were ideas were intrinsically motivating for him so he was more willing to practice this skill as well.
Think about your families life and dynamic? What is important to your child? Have they mentioned anything about friends or how their body feels? Maybe that could be an idea to go with to help motivate them to learn this skill. Or do they have someone they look up to that could talk to them about the importance of keeping our bodies clean and healthy?
Let me know in the comments below if there are any strategies you have used to help your teenager with autism be more motivated to learn the personal hygiene skills?
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