Saturday, 7 July 2012

Personal hygiene and Asperger syndrome

Recently I was talking to a nurse who works in a nearby autism house, [a home for adults with autism that supports them in daily activities and to live more independently] and we got onto the subject of personal hygiene and autism.

I hold my hands up now, personal hygiene and any form of house work I have to force myself to do, and otherwise I wouldn’t.   since becoming a nurse I religiously wash hands and a tad obsessive about ensuring personally hygiene is up there, for me, and any nurse I suppose, hygiene and meeting hygiene standards is a must and you can become every OCD about the issue, because if not your putting patients health at risk, and you never ever want to be responsible for causing harm, in any way shape or form to any of your patients.  Therefore like I say! I’m obsessive about washing my hand’s, if I’m not physically doing something in work, you’ll find me by the sink!

But before this things were very different. I get sensory over load by the feel and sound of water, to me is the feel of water feels like I’m being burnt, rain feels like I’m being stabbed by a thousand needles in one go.  I cannot stand the sound of running water, imagine a high pitch alarm going off, that’s what it sound like to me, and it sends shivers down my spine.  Therefore I used to avoid these sensations, unless absolutely nessacary.  I also hate textures and things in my mouth, therefore brushing teeth ECT can literally mean I end up crying throughout the process this however is due to a variety of issues with taste and texture, something I’m still working on but getting better at I hope. Brushing my hair I’ve learnt to be ok with, I only use certain brushes, as again couldn’t stand the feel of certain ones, and I’ve managed to work it into my morning routine and therefore now happy with it, however can’t stand anyone touching my hair and don’t like my hair touching my neck or face so have to do it myself and have it in a set style all the time, I’ve just decided I want a new haircut, I’ll let you know when that actually happens.   

House work is the same for roughly the same reasons, I can’t stand the smell of a variety of chemicals, therefore I try and avoid using them where possible and have over the years found ones I’m ok with and found coping methods, such as cleaning then going out for a few hours so not breathing in the smell for ages.  I have to wear rubber cloves to do a lot of tasks. I also have problems with sounds, such as the hoover etc. and the running water as above.

However I hate mess, I hate dirty, I hate mould, All three in themselves can result in sensory overloads for a whole another reasons and can make me feel physically sick and if things are a mess, I kind of makes my brain a mess, I need things in order and in set place, if things aren’t then I get stressed and tense till everything’s right again.  

So therefore I try to find the right balance in-between! [and I’m also currently buying a dishwasher!]

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please check out the other pages around my blog on a variety of subjects including, stimming, obsessions sensory impact, bullying and depression, via either the a – z Above and the labels to the right side.  All comments are always welcome. thankyou


  1. Your blog is wonderful and awesome for families dealing with sensory issues on the spectrum. Your story reminds me of my son, who spent years learning how to bathe! Thank you for sharing and offering strategies and hope!

    1. thankyou for your comment, :-) i have great problems with actually having a bath, makes me feel very sea sick and panic i''m going to drown. jsx