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Old 06-18-2006, 04:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ashland Oregon, Big Island, Hawaii
Posts: 4
CindyB1956 HB User
Won't Bathe


I'm new here. My son, now 14, has been dx'd with Sensory Integration
Disorder (age 3), Aspergers (age 6, but practically ruled out), then Anxiety Disorder. The nurse in the hospital nursery suspected autism because he seemed to deal with the bright lights and crying babies by sleeping and she found that unusual. Bright lights have always bothered him, noises too.

One school district psychologist who knew my son over the years believed that my son is not AS but is "somewhere on the autism spectrum." I tend to agree. I can post why later, after I read more posts here and have more time. But I really am worried about son right now because he will not shower any more.

It's surprising because he's quite germ phobic and wants everything super
clean around him, as I keep the shower. He says he can't stand the feeling
of the dead skin that comes off. His last shower (3 weeks ago!), he scrubbed
till he was raw and then was upset because when he dried with the towel
there was still dead skin coming off. Since he is very smart (top fifth percentiles on verbal and performance IQ's), and since he loves logic, I can't
see why I can't talk any sense into him about how the less he showers the
more dead skin will come off when he does, so the key is to shower regularly!
I just spent lots of money on lotions, like Aloe Vera gel and things that
aren't greasy, and gave him scrub ingredients (sugar, organic of course for
him and coconut oil)...It's all just sitting on the counter, untouched. I've sympathized and suggested he just use the sugar scrub and do a gentle
scrubbing then put the moisturizer on and then dry..and that in time there won't be all that yucky skin. I don't know what else to do.

I've searched teen health sites looking for evidence that he could have
health problems from not showering. But found nothing. He pointed to one article I found that unfortunately said lice actually prefer clean scalps

I can't make him do anything. So I can't make him take a shower.
He's homeschooled since fifth grade (his choice and I work at home) and
spends all his time online, not out in the "germ ridden" world.. just to let
you know that drugs aren't an issue. Should I be concerned? I've tried not
saying anything for up to three days...and that didn't work. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you!

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Old 06-18-2006, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: Won't Bathe

I'm going to be 19, I have Asperger's and intense anxiety (OCD and panic attacks), and I, too, hate to shower, even though I like to be clean. I notice that you said that you can't get him to take a shower- have you tried baths? I absolutely loathe showers, and unfortunately, up at college, that's all they have. Thus, I wait as long as possible to shower when I'm at college, and I usually get a shower and then skip two days until the next one. Really, the only reason I get one at all is because I want to be clean, and my mother has instilled in me the need to brush your teeth and wash your face every day before you go anywhere, so if I go longer than that, my inherent sense of OCD guilt sets in. Anyway, the reason that I can't take showers is because I hate to get wet. It's definitely a sensory thing. It's just so utterly uncomfortable to me, more so when I'm getting out of the shower and am dripping wet. What I found particularly distressing about showers is the fact that I am forced to get my face wet and the nozzle pelts you with water very quickly, and it's painful in a sense. I have always loved baths, but didn't put my finger on why until recently. When I get a bath, I don't even usually soak in the tub, but just wash like a regular person gets a shower. The thing is that I can wash my hair under the faucet without getting a drop of water on my face, and the water stream is steady and smooth, not jets of water. Plus, I tend to be dryer when I get out of a bath and am not dripping wet. Sadly, I only can do this while I'm at home for the summer (now) or on vacations like Christmas or something. You might want to suggest this to your son. Oh, and he is right- lice do prefer extremely clean hair because it's easier for them to move in... Good luck, God bless, and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Old 06-18-2006, 07:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Santa Maria, CA, USA
Posts: 607
9CatMom HB User
Re: Won't Bathe

I am the opposite. I hate baths, because I hate the feel of my backside sticking on the bottom of the tub. I'm not germ phobic, but I hate to feel dirty.

Old 06-18-2006, 07:57 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 92
Sheronor HB User
Re: Won't Bathe

I don't like baths because of all the dirt floating around me. I'd rather shower first, then clean the tub and take a bath. No time for that though - so I just shower.

Old 06-19-2006, 01:53 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ashland Oregon, Big Island, Hawaii
Posts: 4
CindyB1956 HB User
Re: Won't Bathe

Thank you for sharing with me. Well, my son loves the feel of water, even
from the shower, so it's not that a bath would feel better...But you made
me think. I wonder if soaking in the tub might leave less dead skin on him
when he gets out. Three weeks is a long time to not shower. He does
do "sponge baths" under the arms, etc. Well, I guess I just have to wait
and see. Where we used to live he swam regularly...cleaned off in the just kidding. He rinsed before he got in and then swimming three
times a week and takng showers at home back then. We're moving back
to Hawaii, and I bet the ocean will help That's four months away
though Thanks though. It's nice to be reminded that he's not
the only one with sensory issues. ( I have anxiety problems and some
sensory stuff too..)


Old 06-19-2006, 04:27 AM   #6
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Re: Won't Bathe

You may be right about the dead skin thing. It seems that I'm the only one I know of who prefers baths because most people, as it was mentioned on here, seem to think that it doesn't get you clean or something. I wish you the best of luck, and if you need more suggestions, I'll try my best!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Old 06-19-2006, 05:24 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 965
mommaboyz HB User
Re: Won't Bathe

Hello Im sorry I dont have any suggestions for you but your no9t alone. Although my sons only 4 he wont bathe either. And his is a sensory thing. I wanted you to know I go through this he** too. Hope you can figure it out.

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