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Why People With Asperger's Won't Shower: And Insight Into Other Hygiene Issues

Why do people with Asperger’s sometimes smell like the inside of an onion that has been rotting in a graveyard for a century? Or to put it another way, why do people with Asperger’s often struggle with hygiene issues?

It’s not that they aren’t motivated. It’s not that they don’t care. Often, it’s just that they are so deep into Defense Mode that they don’t have enough energy to care. Their energy is completely spent just getting through the day, and defending against the world in general.

Hygiene is on their priority list! It’s just #27, and they only have enough energy for #1-3, which would be basic life functions (eating, sleeping, etc), getting through the day (school or work), and keeping it all together. Often there simply isn’t enough energy left to do anything else.

But assuming you are already helping someone with Asperger’s get out of Defense Mode, what are some things you can do to help them specifically with their hygiene?

First, do deep listening to understand their concerns and experiences when it comes to hygiene related events. Once you truly understand what the underlying concerns and root issues are it will be much, much easier to actually solve the problem.

Then, troubleshoot with them to co-create a plan to address the root causes of their complaints and concerns. Remember, co-creation is key! This a two-way conversation. Also, for building and implementing long-term plans and solutions we recommend you use a Responsibility Agreement.

Finally, help them gain a better understanding as to why hygiene might important to them. That may mean helping them understand the science of brushing teeth, or using shampoo. It’s very important to do all of this without shaming, guilt tripping, or insulting them. If your Influence Circles are not aligned during this process it WILL backfire.

Start with 1 particular hygiene issue, then work from there. Don’t try to tackle every single issue all at the same time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient and compassionate. As they see that by working with you there is a solution to be achieved, they will start to trust you and the process more and more, and be more open and willing to engage in the process a second and third time.

The good news is that once you start to implement the hygiene process, things can change. There is hope:

Thanks for reading! Our Hygiene course is currently in development will be available sometime soon, so if you’d like a step-by-step plan to help with hygiene issues, join our email list and keep an eye out for it.

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About Asperger Experts

Asperger Experts is a transformational media company based out of Seattle, Washington that enlivens, empowers and educates people with Asperger's, their families, and the communities in which they live.

It was created in 2012 and is staffed by parents, people with Asperger's, and professionals dedicated to serving and assisting others through sharing knowledge and building communities.

The core of our work focuses on planning, producing and distributing highly transformational courses, as well as creating and managing online communities for people with Asperger’s and their parents.

Our courses are all created by us, drawing from our first hand experience having either lived with Asperger’s, or raised someone on the spectrum.

Our communities are filled with parents, people with Asperger’s, teachers, therapists and others who have had direct and personal experience with life on the spectrum.

We believe in taking our own life experiences and sharing them with the world, and are fortunate to reach over a quarter million people each day with our live videos, courses, workshops, articles and videos.

Thank you for supporting us and our work. We literally couldn't do this without you.

Comments? Questions?