Becky Thomas - Autism Support worker

I work with a 14 yr old Autistic girl with a learning disability.

She has increasingly withdrawn from going places and is now not washing at all and will stay in one set of clothes and will not take off her pants and is extremely fearful. I know the parents have had problems with washing her over the years and she has never liked bubbles or cream over her. She seems very contradictory as she has good tolerance in many other areas.

The "professionals" are putting her on anti depressants and Rispirodol for anxiety and I feel she is being mis diagnosed and the parents misunderstood. i know the parents have done things that have forced into very stressful situations in the past, but efforts are being made to help them understand their daughter and interact with her in a way that will be good for her. She has her periods and it is horrendous to see the hygiene problems that occur at this time.

Has anyone got any advice please?

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Sep 30, 2011
I'm sorry for the delay in responding
by: Anonymous

My sympathies are with you as you appear to be facing alleged professionals not listening! Where to start the easiest things first. Her periods are the simplest things to control she can be given the contraceptive injection every quarter this eases the battle with sanitary protection? Simple but effective.

The first question I pose is are the clothes her favourite if so buy in multiples- whats wrong with having a uniform of sorts? Are there choice issues? Because little or no choice can cause great disenfranchisement. Does she attend a special school is there anybody she has a crush on did they praise for looking good in a certain set of clothes? The water issues are somewhat more problematic I know little things can become major strains on relationships. Firstly try bribery? treats or meals out for a week of showers try asking her what she would like as a treat. Does she have her own toiletries or does she have an issue with sharing?The least pleasurable question to ask has the child been violated? Perhaps bullied or has someone touched her in appropriately? Not particularly enjoyable to consider but may answer some of the questions. sorry for being a jobes comforter but if I didn't ask i would appear unprofessional. My wish is that your client finds life easier as becoming a young woman is difficult when you don't have other issues.My wife tells me.

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