Puberty can be a difficult time for any child, the body is physically changing to mature
into an adult capable of sexual reproduction. This can be a difficult time for children with Autism, especially those with minimal speech and comprehension. A challenging topic for parents and children with Autism is the issue of personal hygiene, the understanding of how to take care of one’s body, cleanliness and related behaviours. For most children on the spectrum hygiene does not come naturally and needs to be taught.
Able2learn has created a social story, I CAN PUT ON DEODORANT, to address this issue, the story can be used to demonstrate to a child why they must put on deodorant, the different types of deodorant options available in the market and when to put on deodorant. This social story can be read at home, discussed or used as part of Health Program at school. The I CAN PUT ON DEODORANT Social Story comes in a girl and boy version.
Here are some tips to help your child put on deodorant:
1. OVERCOMING SENSORY ISSUES
Many children may have sensory issues when it comes to putting on deodorant. Try different types of deodorant on the child’s wrist to see which one they like, a hard roll on, this is the preference of my son, a wet roll on or a spray. It may take some time for your child to get used to the sensory of putting on deodorant on the armpits, don’t give up, do as much as they can tolerate, try your best to make it a pleasant experience. Some deodorants have a perfume smell and maybe bothersome.
2. USE A REWARD
A token board can be used to reward a child for any attempt to put on deodorant. Read about how to use token boards here. Also, a task analysis sheet can be used to break down the steps.
3. USE A SCHEDULE OR VISUAL
Provide your child with a visual schedule of how to put on deodorant and when. This can be placed in the bathroom and/ or in the child’s room.
4. READ SOCIAL STORIES
Use social stories, keep reading them to your child, ask questions, answer questions, and use the stories to teach your child expectations, why it is important and, address routines.
Do you have your own tips and tricks? I would love to hear about them, so feel free to share and comment below!
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