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Staying Clean and Healthy: Step-By-Step Teaching for Children With Autism

When teaching children how to stay clean, remember that their idea of dirty is different than yours. Children with autism may also grow distressed when trying to understand hygiene.

Teaching children to stay clean by using routine and repetition will help them to learn. When your child sees that a bath or shower is part of their daily routine, he will begin to accept it just as he does mealtime and bedtime.

Because children don’t share our recognition of dirtiness, they can become overwhelmed by our attempts to show them. Taking things slowly and in steps makes it more manageable for them.

Describe each step involved in staying clean. When washing hands or taking a bath, a laminated task strip with each step broken down and placed nearby can help them to remember.

Sometimes Staying Clean Is Easy

Mazz Media’s Marvel and Friends: Staying Clean and Healthy DVD teaches staying clean and healthy with step-by-step modeling of washing hands, taking a shower, clipping nails, and brushing teeth. Children demonstrate the steps, and the animated characters Marvel the dog and his friends Mikey and Mandy help to explain them.

“Sometimes it’s easy to tell when your hands are dirty, but sometimes it’s not,” Mandy explains. Learning the importance of hygiene and staying healthy is fun with animated characters who talk to children in a manner they can relate to.

Marvel and friends make it simple and entertaining to help children understand that staying healthy means staying clean. The importance of clean clothes, eliminating germs, when to wash hands, and why clipping nails is a good idea are all covered in a no-fuss, kid-friendly approach.

Make a plan. You can teach your child to stay clean and healthy by following a routine, using repetition, and implementing come creative motivational visuals. For further resources about autism, check out Autism Speaks.