Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Autism and Hygiene
Where do I begin? ...with a bar of soap and a nice warm shower? What may seem common place to we neuro-typicals, may seem odd and annoying to those on the autism spectrum.
I hear things like: the vent will blow air and make noise and it disturbs me in the bathroom! or....the soap feels slimy and yukky....or WHY do I have to get washed up it make me cold!?
And so it goes with my 11 yr old spectrum son. We scrub him (still) from head to toe and are awaiting the day where he doesn't have to be overseen quite as much. But my, he is behind with these things. He has no concern for hygiene even when his science book details its importance.
He is a bright boy...nevertheless....intellectually in the facts and information area, math and reading. Hyperlexic in fact, having decoded language very early and taught himself to read by the age of 4, when his speech finally emerged. But it is so obvious to me how he is at least a couple years behind in maturity compared to his peers, and how unfortunately, they find that annoying....or view him as not cool. Let's face it, kids getting ready to enter middle school, are all about acting more mature, and sports and cool tennis shoes, fashion and music. Oh my little man isn't anywhere near any of that, and it may not ever happen for him.
I debate taking him away and out of activities because it breaks my heart (probably more than his, as we don't think he really notices) that other peers just ignore him, traipsing by him to run off and find a friend.
But today, after his nice long shower and shampoo that he mostly did on his own, I just celebrate the fact of who he really is....who God has made him to be. And today, that is enough.