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Autism and Hygiene

Flora, like many children with ASC, has difficulty with some skills related to self-care and more specifically to hygiene, such as washing her hands.

This may be due to some discomfort towards the sensation of water,soap and/or drying hands, difficulty understanding the importance of washing hands, and some previous bad experience. In many cases they have difficulty because they don't like the process, don't want to follow it or can't remember the steps correctly.

Because of the current situation with Coronavirus, washing our hands frequently is even more important. That's why this week we decided to teach Flora to wash her hands properly.

1. Symbols - steps

As we do in every activity, we need to create the visual steps/instructions that the student needs to follow. In this way, the instructions are more understandable and the actions are related to the words. As it is a series of steps that need to be followed in a specific way, it is important to number the steps so that the student can see and understand the order of the actions. For the same reason, instead of having the steps individually, we print them in a column.

2. Demonstration of steps by the adult

The adult acts as a role model and demonstrates how the steps should be followed correctly. It is important before demonstrating the steps, to show the student which step to follow by touching the matching number/symbol, naming it and then doing it. More information can be found here.

3. Student’s turn

Now it is the student's turn. With the help of the visual instructions the student needs to follow the steps. They may at first need our help hand in hand. Hand in hand we touch the instruction and do the appropriate action.

4. Frequent repetition

It is important to repeat the procedure several times during the day and include it as part of the student's routine, for example before eating, after eating, after an activity. If we use a visual timetable, we can include it as part of their routine.

5. Entertainment.

Especially in case the student is struggling with this process, it is important to make it fun for them. This helps to avoid tension and give the student time to understand what they need to do.

Every child has different needs and we need to ensure that we adapt the activities accordingly. If you are interested in planning a similar activity, you can contact us at so that we can share ideas and tips for the best possible outcome.


We will share more tips and activities in the future, so keep visiting us.

We are looking forward to hearing your views and experiences.

You can email us at

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