Teenager personal hygiene

by Von hew
(Bronx, ny )

I'm seeking help to my everyday battle. my 13 year old daughter has a learning disability as well as sensory processing disorder. She hates soap every type of soap she hates. She gags and at the same time ends up stinking as a result. We have spoke to her over and over but she just doesn't get it. Teachers call bringing it to our attention not like we haven't noticed but were at our wits end. She hates toothpaste as well. Help? Please...

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May 07, 2012
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hygene issues
by: Cindy

We have 3 with those types of sensory issues. First of all, toothpaste, we buy colgate strawberry or watermelon. The kids say the others are too "spicey". If it's the toothbrush you can get oral sponges or try a water pic system.

The soap issue, the smell is one problem, suds could be another. You could try all natural soaps found in the health food store or an unscented body wash. Be warned that the all natural body soaps don't last long.

It could also be the water running sounds, or the sounds of splashing. If the child is non verbal you could do some testing there, if verbal try to help them put the words in to explain.

Mar 24, 2012
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is it a scent or tactile issue?
by: Anonymous

If it is a smell issue and not a feeling issue try a cleanser like purpose face wash which has no odor. Is she able to use a washcloth or a pouf or do those textures bother her? Is she having trouble with the feel of it against her skin or in her hand? It may feel slimy to her but if she can use it on a pouf and it is unscented she may not notice the sensation.

Jan 18, 2012
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Have you tried
by: Anonymous

using baby wipes or personal wipes. Have you asked her why she doesn't like soap? Is is the smell, or texture. This may give you some clues on helping her, help herself find a cleaner. Have you tried things like hand sanitizers or just using plain water without soap? If she can stand just water on a washcloth- this is a start- Work with her on setting a goal of the tiniest bit of cleaner- say a cream, or something she can tolerate and provide a reward of something that she really, really, wants. Always make the reward bigger than the the object to desensitize too. Work on bigger cleanser amounts, with rewards until she can desensitize to a very small amount of cleanser.

Also is she influenced by a friend? Get the friend give some input on why it is healthy to clean up a little. Does your daughter listen to a doctor, an OT or any one outside of the immediate family? I once had a medical doctor tell my DD, who was six a the time to stop hitting me when she had a melt down. Guess what? My DD stopped right after the Dr said to stop. So sometimes this works. I once had our child psychologist, tell me "Blame it on me, make me the bad guy, when she has to do anything that challenges her sensory processing dysfunction."

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