Hygiene and self-help skills ARE essential life skills. But for many autistic individuals these skills ARE often a neglected, can cause confusion, anxiety and stress.
Typically autistic individuals do not always recognise the need to increase hygiene skills around puberty, the need for regular dental checks or tooth brushing etc. The individual with autism may not perceive their appearance or the social implications of neglecting their own personal hygiene.
Addressing poor hygiene in autistic individuals can be overcome using visual supports, patience and understanding.
For many parents, teachers and other professionals knowing how to support an individual with autism can be difficult and at time stressful. However this can be overcome when parents opt to use visual supports for autism.
It is understood individuals on the spectrum are generally visual thinkers and learners therefore making use of visual supports for autism is beneficial. One such autistic support is autism social skills stories.
Social stories show the individual on the spectrum why and how to perform certain hygiene skills. A social story acts as a role model for the individual on the spectrum to follow; the social skills story will show visually as well as answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what. The social skills story will also give the autistic person an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.
Social skills stories are normally written by experts in autism and typically follow a set pattern of sentence types, use first person language and are visually rich, the social skills story is generally easy to edit, personalize and may be printed.
For parents, teachers or care givers needing help with addressing poor hygiene in autistic individuals using autism social skills stories for hygiene will be beneficial.
Social skills stories can be used for a vast majority of situations and skills the autistic person may be struggling with like making friends, having a conversation, shopping, getting a haircut, visiting the dentist, hospital etc.
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