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personal hygiene and teenagers

(11 Posts)
JetCat Mon 29-Nov-10 22:51:40

ok, so i know the two dont normally go together anyway, but I am really struggling with my 13 year old DD.

She has dyspraxia, processing problems and probable ASD (still formalising DX). So i dont know how much of this she cant help, and how much i should be constantly nagging her.

Obviously while she is at home, it isnt an issue as much, as i can remind her to get washed, clean teeth etc. In fact, she made herself a checklist to do each morning. The touble is, she obviously isnt doing a thorough job, so i make her go and do it again.

But, each fortnight she spends the weekend with her dad, and despite me pleading with him to keep a check on her, he doesnt. Either because he is embarrassed, or because he cant be bothered. The end result is when she comes home, she smells really badblush

Over the past 3-4 month, the situation has been made much worse by her periods. I went into her bedroom this morning, and actually gagged at the smell (time of the month, sorry - TMI). Turns out, she hasnt changed her underwear the whole weekend while at her dads. She has changed the pad, but not the stained knickers. <god, i cant believe i am posting this, i am so embarrassed> I can understand her feeling awkward at her dads, but i dont understand why change just the pad. She brings her washing home to me anyway, and i have told her she can put things straight into the washing machine if she doesnt want me seeing them. But she doesnt. I pack her clothes for her while she is at her dads, so i know she does have clean underwear there.

I really dont know what else i can say to her. She says she doesnt notice the smell, and i can believe that - she has a real lack of awareness around her. So much so, she wouldnt notice if children at school commented on the smell - DD wouldnt realise they were talking about her unless they actually spelt it out for her - which i really dont want to happen.

We have had books, watched programmes, been on websites etc. but nothing is sinking in. To top it all, she has a damaged kidney due to persistant water infections, and has been told she needs to keep her hygiene to a high level.

Does anyone have any advice please?

bellavita Mon 29-Nov-10 23:01:44

How about buying some cheap pants for when she is on her period and when she changes her pad, she can change the pants at the same time and throw them both away? I know you can buy the boxes of "Poppins" at Boots which are scented bags with a little tie handle exactly for the purpose of disposing of pads and they would easily fit in a rolled up pair of pants too.

Does she have her own deodrant/body spray?

Am not sure how much you should nag her tbh as both my boys are happy to shower every day.

Mouseface Mon 29-Nov-10 23:08:12

Hey Jet.

DD is just at that stage re hygiene. No periods as yet but the BO, discharge, sweaty 'bits' smell, is very strong these days. And although she showers each day, I have to remind her to change her pjs etc. on a regular basis still.

You say that DD has a list of things to do in the mornings?

How easy would she find it to cope with a seperate/special list for when she has her period?

You must find it so hard to even think about telling her she 'smells' as it were. Can you do some sort of chart/tick list for her to fill in?

Sorry, no experience of teenage SN/LD just wanted to suggest some things to you smile

QueenGigantaurofMnet Mon 29-Nov-10 23:08:38

If she is on top of it at home and its when she is with her dad that the problems arise i think you are going to need to work on him.

When youpack her bags for her to take to her dads set each days outfit in the bag together so top bottom and clean undies, then the next days top bottom and clean undies. that way when she unpacks her things it will be a visual reminder to change.

then dad will have to ask her each morning if she has changed into clean undies.

DS is only 10 but has asd. we have similar soap dodging issues. I think it is a lot easier with him being a boy as i can be a lot more blunt without offending him.

JetCat Mon 29-Nov-10 23:11:32

we have those little bags bella, and yes - we have the cheapie pants as well. I have told her a thousand times i would much rather simply buy new ones than have her too embarrassed about putting them in the wash etc. It just doesnt seem to sink in.

She has her own sprays, that is on her checklist, so we are ok on that score. She does have a bath here each day (no shower) but i know she doesnt at her dads, and as she is all hormonal, it only takes one or two days before it becomes noticable.

We are at the docs on thursday, to try again for the depo injection, so hopefully this will get rid of that particular issue. I guess i just wonder whether all this is because of her difficulties, or simply because she is a lazy teenager (which in most areas she isnt).

JetCat Mon 29-Nov-10 23:19:21

hey mousesmile i think you're probably right, she needs some kind of new chart. I feel like a bit of a numpty for not thinking of that myselfblush

Gigi - i like your thinking of putting all the clothes together in one bundle. I actually do that for DD2, as she would come home in some fabulous outfitshmm I dont think i could rely on ex to make sure she was changed, but she does have her own mobile, so i could ring to check i guess.

She is also really hard to offend, sometimes i wish she wasnt, as i am sure if i was being told i smelled every day, i would want to do something about it.

She is a lovely lovely girl, but such an easy target to get picked on, and as i told her - only she can do something about this issue (we are working with her school to sort out various isses there) as i feel she needs to take some responsibility.

QueenGigantaurofMnet Mon 29-Nov-10 23:24:59

the lack of offence is probably the ASD shoningy through. you say she smells and she takes it as a fact, not that it is a slight oon her.

in this instance it is absolutley a good thing.

It's the same with DS. i will say "cor your breath is minging" and he will just say "oh does it" i will then have to tell him to go brush them as he doesn't understand hints or subtle nudges.

Once her checklists become routine it will be easier. It will become a form of ritual that she will do each day, not because she understands it but because she knows this is what is expected.

or at least that is what i am hoping for.

JetCat Mon 29-Nov-10 23:28:36

that is junior to a tee! I say, your hair is really messy" so she looks in a mirror and nods. She then sits back down - so i then have to say "well go and brush it then!"

Do you think that is why the books etc didnt work? She mustn't identify herself with the character?

Mouseface Mon 29-Nov-10 23:29:11

Jet - DD is the same re hard to offend. She's almost 12. How about with each outfit, you put a checklist?

So, when she is at her dad's, she pulls out that days clothes and in the pile (maybe even bag it in a plastic bag with 'Saturday morning' on it) is a list of what she needs to do?

So - wash/shower, teeth, deodorant on, pants, new pad, trousers....

Then at night, they same? Her PJs are seperate from her day clothes but only in a carrier bag.... 'pjs, teeth, wash face, or shower, new pad?'

Keep it really simple but seperate for each phase of her day??

DD's dad NEVER checked with her if she wants to shower etc. She no longer stay sover due to his utter shiteness!

I know how hard it must be for you especailly if she doesn't 'see' it herself.

QueenGigantaurofMnet Mon 29-Nov-10 23:32:59

if there is a suspicion of asd then that would be my guess, yeah.

I know it doesn't help the situation of her being smelly but it may help put your mind at ease about why she just isn't "getting" it.

Hygeine is a very difficult one for some asd kids to get.

most of our daily hygeine routine is done because we want to look and feel nice. for someone with ASD that sort of thing doesn't even register (if you see the way ds tries to go out somedays you'd laugh)
so it doesn't come as a natural part of their day. it is almost like a chore that they have to get done as it is part of the routine.

I am sure there will be someone who will be able to offer some better advice soon.

JetCat Tue 30-Nov-10 14:07:48

your advice is great gigi, as alwayssmile As is yours Mouse - i have said to her this morning to when she gets home tonight, we are doing to do two new checklists for her.

Many thankssmile

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