Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Overcoming Bath Time Fears

For most children diagnosed with Autism, bath time is something that's hard to go through. This is because some of them are hypersensitive to touch and every action that's associated with bath time, like soaping the body and hair or drying with the towel becomes a torture. Their sensory receptors are overloaded.

As with many children at bath time, the best thing you can do is to distract them with some games or activities.

If it is waterproof, allow them to take their favourite toy with them so they can play with it in the water. That will give them a whole new experience with that item. There are lots of games designed for bath play. Bath squirts are always fun and a little water mess is a sure sign of fun!

Toys like tea sets and dolls are great for bath time, too. Children mimic the adult world by learning to wash and dry plates and cups or washing dolly’s hair. Sometimes, by being able to wash the doll as you are washing them, the child learns to understand the routine and becomes less stressed. A clever doll to use in the bath is Wayne Needs a Bath (or Julia needs a bath for the girls). Dirt marks printed on the doll are treated with heat sensitive ink. When put in warm water of 32-35, the marks will go away.

Another handy toy is the Farm Friends set with soft foam animals that stick to the tiles when wet.

Pet Fashion in the Tub is very clever. It is a set containing a foam dog and cat and 32 different accessories that they can be dressed up in.

Each of these sets packs away neatly for use next time.

Toys are great tools to help children learn to cope with life. If bath time is a problem, bring out your favourite toy to help.

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