Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Aspergers and Hygiene - How do you Smell today?

I'm not actually sure that you can put Aspergers and Hygiene in the same sentence. For anyone who saw the film 'Temple Grandin' there is a scene where her boss gives her a can of deodorant and tells her to use it because 'she stinks'. It may sound harsh or hurtful but in reality my son only takes notice if I 'tell him straight'

Hygiene has got worse as my son has got older. Perhaps it's because when children are little you expect to help them with their baths and teeth.At twelve however you expect them to do it themselves. Get that hope firmly out of your mind! They're sneaky and if you don't watch them they with do  nothing, yes that's right absolutely ZILCH!

Only the other day my mum was saying how sad it was that my son's hair was so messy, it made him look geeky and she worried someone would laugh at him. I bit my tongue and began to worry. I knew it was messy but I made a promise to him some time ago that if he would allow me to use clippers on his hair he would never, ever again have to go to the hairdresser. I hadn't shaved too much off as the first time we did it his dad was in charge and he came up for air looking like  Franciscan monk- it was awful! Luckily my son just laughed, you see he really doesn't care what other people think of him and that's the key- we make ourselves look nice to attract others and conform and neither of those things matter to my son!

Fortunately for me my husband told my son he needed a haircut and he would have to take him to the hairdressers.My son decided that he needed to get his hair done quickly before his dad had the chance to carry out his threat so he asked me to cut his hair when his dad was at work. I reduced the length of the trimmers this time and we were just on the last few strands when his dad walked in the house. It wasn't perfect but it was a great deal better! Next time I resolved to reduce the length of the trimmers to 'short grass' height.

Bathing has take a turn for the worse too. As a young child my son was bathed every day, however as he has grown up I have far more after school activities to go to so I'm inevitably not in at bath time. I have discovered that he responds better with a set bath time at 8.30pm as it's not unexpected, however if I'm out I have to remember to text his father otherwise bath time gets missed! Invariably my alarm will go off in the middle of choir practice with a message to say it's bath time. It has caused a great deal of hilarity!

 There was a time not so long ago when he was anxious.He would climb into the bath complete with ear defenders and underpants, a sort of Sponge bob Super hero and he insisted I sat in the bathroom whilst he had his bath- that time seems to have passed now and he will bath alone. If we are not careful though he can go for days without a bath. The other day he had one because his elder brother told him he was starting to smell. There can be no pussy footing around you have to tell it straight!

Cleaning teeth isn't any better we are experts on every flavour, colour and type of toothpaste, we've had ice cream flavour, banana flavour, mint, stripey, and transparent. Some have suited for a while, others haven't got past the tooth brush! We haven't had much more success with mouth wash. At the moment my son is rubbing his gums with mouth wash every day but if you could see his face when he does it you would think he was being poisoned. Chewing gum has been our best bet. Far from ideal I know but at least we don't have to smell his stinky breath.

I am dreading the onset of puberty. I just hope we can find an anti perspirant to mask his scent. Perhaps we will have to resort to Lion Dung - rather than attract people in his direction - it may keep them away!

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