I have noticed in a number of autism spaces that there are people out there who have reached adulthood but are having problems with basic self-care things that we were expected to learn in childhood. This can be an embarrassing thing to talk or ask about, especially with the level of detail sometimes needed. In that vein, I figured I would take a stab at occasionally posting “how do I adult” topics. Today’s topic is taking a shower, which I will try to break down into basic sections, with as much detail as possible.
Things you will need:
A bar of soap
If your hair is 4 inches long or longer: Conditioner
If you don’t want to wash your hair: A Shower Cap
A towel to dry off with
To get your shower started, turn on the water all the way hot and let it run for a few minutes. Check it with your fingertips every minute or so, to see if the hot water is coming through.
Once it is, turn it cooler to get it to a temperature that is comfortable for you.
Get undressed. Remember to take off everything! Don’t forget underwear or socks or any necklace you might be wearing.
Decide ahead of time if you are going to be washing your hair or not. If not, put on the shower cap to keep your hair dry.
Step into the shower. If you’re worried about balancing, it can help to have a bathmat on the shower floor. Once you are in the shower make sure the shower curtain or door is closed.
Next up, get wet. Get ALL of yourself wet – your front, back, and sides. Lift up your arms to get your armpits wet too. If you are washing your hair, you will need to wet your hair as well. Stand with your back to the water and tilt your head back as far as it will go. Move back until you can feel the water hitting the very top of your forehead. Then slowly tilt your head forward so that water gets onto all of your hair. Also tilt your head to one side and then the other to get the sides of your head wet. If your hair is more than ~4” long, you will need to lift your hair up to help the water get all the way in. You want your hair quite thoroughly wet.
Summary of Getting Started:
1. Get the water started at the temperature you like.
2. Get undressed.
3. Step into the shower.
4. Get completely wet.
Next up, washing your hair!
If you are not going to wash your hair, you can go ahead and skip to page 4.
(ETA: whoa, the page links are way down low! scroll down to find them)