HYGIENE with a Down Syndrome Teenager

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Showering:  To say Lily hates to shower is an understatement.  Since hitting puberty I don't get any help with Dad.  And he is the one who usually has taken care of making her do things she doesn't want to do.  For some reason I bring out the meanness in her!  Girls have so many crevices and since Lily wears a diaper at night, I think daily is important.  Sometimes, every other day, depending on her mood.  The only way to get her in the shower is for me to be in there with her.  I am not complaining because repetitive action is how she learns.  And I trust one day she will go in the shower by herself and be able to wash her hair and rinse it thoroughly.  And soap up her body and rinse.  The one thing I love about Lily is her need for ritual.  And her ritual gives me hope that she is learning.

Periods:  That is the time I feel she needs to really be supervised.  But a lot of times she will change her pad in her room without me knowing.  And does she wash her hands afterwards?  I hope so.  But truthfully I don't know.  What I do know is she hates the sight of blood.  So if she had gotten blood on her she would run to the sink.  Lily is an excellent hand washer.  Between school and home she has been taught to wash her hands a lot!  I stand back and watch her to make sure she does it.  And I am there to remind her if need be.  But usually I don't have too.  So the main issue with Hygiene and her periods is the fact she takes off her pads and leaves them in front of the toilet or on top of the trash for all to see.  She just isn't coordinated enough to even fold them in half.  And she is scared of them, so that doesn't help!  All I can do is keep trying to show her how.

BM'S:  No one ever wants to talk about this!  I don't want to talk about this.  But I can't be the only mom to a DS daughter who still can't wipe her own bottom!  We have tried to teach Lily to reach back and her arm is not long enough to reach.  So I wipe her bottom.  I debated if I should teach her back to front.  And will talk to her Dr about that.  I just want to keep her clean.




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