Many parents ofteenagers with autism worry that their teen will not “fit in”. Typically a teen with autism will find difficulties mastering hygiene skills and routines, especially surrounding puberty, such as autistic girls and menstruation.
Hygiene skills are essential life skills but for a teen with autism developing healthy hygiene habits can be challenging, therefore direct teaching of healthy hygiene habits in autism is essential.
For many parents of teenagers with autism puberty can be very stressful, parents look for ways to explain puberty and teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism. Parents consequently find autistic supports such as autistic social skills stories, perfect for helping them deal with this challenging period in their child’s life.
Autistic Social skills stories were first developed as a means of communication, today autistic social skills stories are used more widely to teach social, imagination and communication skills and behaviours as well as a means of communication.
Using appropriate language and visual images, social stories are used as autistic supports for individuals with an ASD and related conditions. The autistic social skills story provides the adolescent on the spectrum with a role model of exactly how to master the situation or skill.
The autistic social skills story answers the “wh” questions ~ who, where, why, what and when as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others.Concentrating on the main key points and cutting out all the frills the adolescent on the autistic spectrum will be able to see more clearly what is expected of them as well as what to expect from others, helping to relieve anxieties and make the teen with autism more comfortable with and in the situation.
Consequently many parents now use autistic social skills stories to tackle healthy hygiene routines in teenagers with autism.
Parents of teens with autism implement autistic social skills stories to help with autistic hygiene issues such as:
● autism and going to the bathroom
● puberty and autistic girls
● autistic teenage hygiene ~ using deodorant
● autistic girls and menstruation
● taking a shower
● taking a bath
As well as a means to tackle healthy hygiene routines in teenagers with autism, autistic social stories also help toteach other skills and behaviours and promote a healthy lifestyle.
People with autism like routines and things to remain the same. They prefer structure and dislike any changes to their daily routine.
Hygiene is a social skill that a normally developing person will learn as they grow from their environment, peers and family. However with autism the skill is not learnt naturally.
People with autism do not care what others think of them, or understand little jibes like “phew what’s that smell”.
They lack the ability to “mind read” they do not understand facial expressions and lack the ability to read a persons body language. Social skills like hygiene need to be taught directly.
Healthy hygiene habits in autism can be taught and re-enforced using visual prompts.
People with autism are visual learners and respond better to visual cues rather than the written or spoken word.
They have trouble understanding our world and can become anxious and sometimes aggressive when they fail to understand what is expected of them.
For example Healthy hygiene habits in autism, we understand the need to brush our teeth, take regular dental check up’s, shower, wash our hands and how to use the toilet appropriately
…All natural hygiene habits we learn through experience and watching, to an autistic person these naturally required skills need to be learned.
That’s where autism social skills stories help; they give the autistic individual instruction, cues and answers to what, where why and when, helping to teach the autistic individual the importance of healthy hygiene habits.
For example during the teenage years the autistic individual will begin to go through puberty, they will sweat and need to take care of their personal hygiene. A social skills story can explain why they are going through puberty the changes they can expect and how they will be expected to act and react to situations and circumstances that are in some cases out of their individual control.
They may not understand the need for a regular dental check up’s; all habits we naturally acquire and accept, however to an autistic person sometimes these things are confusing and in some cases will cause actual pain and anxiety.
Autistic individuals are sensitive to light, sound, touch and smell, which in some cases can make healthy hygiene habits difficult to master.
Again autism social skills stories can help them to overcome their fears and anxieties by giving them pictorial support and cues, showing what is happening and why. Then giving the autistic individual coping strategies and instruction on how to perform the task or deal with the activity or situation.
Like for example brushing their teeth, why we do this, what the outcome of not brushing your teeth could be, as well as how to brush their teeth…resulting in good oral hygiene and less cavities.
To help autistic individuals gain healthy hygiene habits and gain Healthy hygiene habits in autism use autism social skills stories.
Download autism social skills stories for Healthy hygiene habits in autism like good hygiene habits and other social skills stories from
For many of us visiting the dentist is quite a scary thought which sparks an un-rational fear. If parents have an un-rational fear, generally children will pick up on this and so the circle continues.
However this is not the case with autism, an autistic child will not generally pick up on their parents feelings and emotions. The ability to read facial expression and body language is missing in children with autism this is often referred to as the theory of mind.
So why for many parents is visiting the dentist with an autistic child so difficult?
Social skills deficits and sensory processing issues are common to autism. Autism is a developmental disability affecting an individual for life. Autism affects how the autistic individual thinks, acts, reacts, communication, imagination and how they process information.
Therefore looking at why visiting the dentist with an autistic child may be so difficult: The first consideration when taking an autistic child to the dentist many parents face is why do I need to see a dentist? This man or woman wearing a white coat, who expects them to lay in a chair with a bright light shining in their face, while they look into their mouth using strange equipment.
Although you yourself understand why it is important to have a regular check-up and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your special needs child may not understand what healthy hygiene habits are, and indeed the importance of having healthy teeth and gums.
Finding autistic resources especially designed for autistic individuals that will help you explain the importance of dental check ups and healthy hygiene habits in autism can be difficult. But for many parents autistic resources such as social skills stories are useful for showing and explaining just these kinds of things.
So what do you need to be aware of when taking an autistic child to the dentist? Once you have actually got your child with autism in the dentistâ€¦
Your first hurdle could be the bright lights in the reception area, noise are their children waiting in the reception, other patients arriving, chatting, can you hear dentists treating other patients? Is there a buzzer or bell can you hear the receptionist on the phone while you’re waiting, all these small things can be anxiety triggers to children with autism.
Many autistic children are sensitive with sensory processing issues being common to autism. The mouth is one of the most sensitive areas on your body, so anything being put in or done to their mouth may cause an anxiety trigger for your special needs child.
The feel of the cold instrument entering their mouth, the drill sensation, the water spraying, the taste of the mouth wash or paste, all these things can be anxiety triggers to children with autism.
The feel of the dentist chair, the rubber gloves the dentist will wear, the bright light above their face, even the goggles they may be asked to wear are these coloured, if so this could also be an anxiety trigger for the ASD child.
Is the dentist wearing perfume or aftershave, the deodorant the nurse or dentist is wearing, the smell in the dentist room, even reception area, the lady opposite you waiting maybe she has perfume on that will trigger an anxiety attack for the ASD child all these things can have an affect when taking an autistic child to the dentist.
Maybe the dentist is not aware of the affects of autism and autistic sensory stimuli. Autism is growing in recognition but a lot of health professionals are still not aware of the affects of autism or autistic sensory stimuli and what they can do to help ease any anxieties.
As well as all these factors, probably the biggest factor of all is actually whyâ€¦for many children with autism understanding why they are even there, why they need to let the dentist look in their mouth. Using social skills stories will help explain this before you even step foot through the dentists door.
It is always a good idea to speak with the dentist before taking your child along, explain the affects of autism, what autism is and how your autistic child reacts to certain sensory stimuli. Explain sensory processing issues and that your autistic child is sensitive to stimuli and how this can be helped while your ASD child is there.
For example is there a private waiting room away from the busy reception area. That could be quieter and less likely to trigger anxieties before they even get into the dentists treatment room.
Can the instruments be warmed under warm water before they are used in your child’s mouth can your special needs child bring their own sun glasses along to protect their eyes rather than wear the dental glasses.
That way you can introduce the sun glasses at home before the visit, giving your special needs child time to get used to them before the check up.
Do you have ear muffs that could block out the noise of the drill? Ask for the mouth rinse to be plain water.
All these things need consideration before visiting the dentist with an autistic child.
One excellent autistic resource you will need to implement especially before the dental visit is a social skills story. The social skills story can help explain why they need to visit the dentist and some of the things that will happen while they are there. Research shows many parents use social stories to help prepare an autistic child to visit the dentist.
Social skills stories will give your ASD child clear instructions and explanations as to what is happening, answering the “wh” questions –who, where, why, when and what showing visually what is happening, what they can expect from others at the time, and what others will be expecting of them.
Armed with a social skills story and the other suggestions I have made you can help your autistic child cope adequately visiting the dentist. Social stories are an autistic resource that is used for helping a child with autism cope with many other skills, situations, activities and events that they will come across in their everyday lives, things we take for granted as “normal”. But to an autistic child can be distressing even frightening.
Where you will find more information on social skills stories that will help your child with autism cope with and understand social situations they may be struggling with like for example Autism dentist social story
“Everyday”, “normal” hygiene routines for the majority of us come naturally. As typically developing individuals we have been programmed to watch, listen and learn from those around us and this is how we pick up on our hygiene routines.
For individuals on the spectrum this ability to watch, listen and learn is missing, autistic individuals are less likely to learn everyday, normal hygiene routines from watching others and in most cases will need direct teaching of these skills.
This can be done through the use of visual supports for autism and related conditions, we know autistic individuals are visual thinkers and learners, thus using visual supports for autism makes good sense. An individuals on the spectrum are far more likely to understand and follow a visual prompt than a written prompt or oral.
There are many visual support aids for autism available but probably the most significant of these are social skills stories. These were introduced around twenty years ago specifically for children with autism and related conditions, to help them communicate and understand skills and behaviours that they were struggling to master.
Deficits in social and communication skills are common to autism and using social skills stories has been proven affective. Many parents, teachers and other professionals use visual support aids for autism to help them teach and re-enforce skills and behaviours, for example hygiene routines like, brushing teeth, washing hair, getting a hair cut and so on.
Social stories are short, visual descriptive plans of a skill or behaviour, much like a comic strip. Social stories break the skill down into small visual steps, describing and showing the “wh” questions (who, where, what, when and why). Helping the individual with ASD understand what is expected of them, and in return what they can expect from others.
Making the individual with ASD feel more comfortable with and in the situation, which in turn can eliminate much of the stress and confusion they may be feeling.
Many parents of teenagers with autism worry that their child will not “fit in”. This worry is heightened by the autistic teenager’s difficulties in mastering hygiene skills and routines? especially around puberty.
Hygiene skills are essential life skills but for many autistic teens developing these skills can be challenging. Consequently direct teaching of healthy hygiene habits in autism is essential.
Many parents of teenagers with autism look for ways to teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism and turn increasingly towards autistic supports such as social skills stories.
Developed almost twenty years ago social skills stories help teach social and communication skills to autistic individuals effectively.
Using appropriate language and visual representations they show the teen with autism exactly how to master a skill, what to expect and what others will expect.
The social skills stories explain the why, where, what and when of the skill concentrating on the main key points and cutting out all the frills in a way the teen with autism can comprehend and cope with, helping to relieve anxieties and make the teen with autism more comfortable with and in the situation.
Consequently many parents of teenagers with autism use social skills stories to teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism and report huge success rates.
Parents of autistic teens implementsocial skills stories to help with autistic hygiene issues such as:
* autism and going to the bathroom
* puberty and autistic girls
* autistic teenage hygiene ~ using deodorant
* autism and menstruation
* taking a shower
* taking a bath
Plus helping to teach many autistic hygiene issues, all relevant to a healthy lifestyle and being accepted by peers.
Generally parents of autistic teens will already probably have a general knowledge of social skills stories, and may already be using them to teach other social and communication skills to their autistic teenager.
Good hygiene habits are learnt through our peers and family, we listen, watch and naturally learn how to take care of ourselves.
With autism however, the ability to learn social skills such as good hygiene habits is not learnt naturally these skills need to be taught directly.
Parents, teacher and care givers use social skills stories to help teach healthy hygiene habits in autism, first developed by Carol Gray these autism resources are used when promoting healthy hygiene habits in autism.
Social skills stories are normally written by experts in autism development and are always written in the first person using text and images to help the autistic person understand the skill that is being taught or re-enforced.
Typically developing youngsters naturally learn self help skills and the need for these skills. With autism however the need for social acceptance is not always the same.
An autistic youngster may not understand the need for personal hygiene, their ability to read facial expression and body language is also impaired, therefore the autistic youngster may not realize their lack of personal hygiene may appear odd or in some cases offensive.
Social skills stories can help explain the need to practice healthy hygiene habits in autism whilst teaching the autistic youngster these skills and routines.
Social skills stories are also used to help with other issues related to good hygiene habits in autism such as taking an autistic child to the dentist, or autism and getting a haircut.
All of these social skills stories can now be downloaded from autism developmental experts providing social skills stories on issues such as good hygiene habits in autism, taking an autistic child to the dentist and autism and getting a haircut, one such site with 20 printable social skills stories for self help skills in autism ishttp://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene
Find expertly written stories promoting healthy hygiene habits in autism as well as stories on potty training an autistic toddler, autism and menstruation, using deodorant, showering and other self help personal social skills stories.