I have meltdowns over lots of things. I find it difficult to choose what to eat, and even to think about what to eat, what to wear, which clothes to buy, which products to buy, which food to buy, etc. I also struggle with hygiene. I don't like it if my face gets wet in the shower, don't like the feeling of a toothbrush, the taste of toothpaste, I worry that I am not washing my hair, brushing my teeth, combing my hair properly because of my dexterity problems and sensory issues. I have a big phobia with brushing my teeth as I have issues with my gums. I worry about seeing them bleed when I brush or that the toothbrush might make my gums recede more. I have to see the dentist every three months and I am terrified of them. Everytime I go there, it't the same issues. Most of my teeth are fine, but I still have the bleeding gums and I still have the biggest build up of plaque and tartar on my lower front teeth. It ruins my confidence. I'm not sure if this is psychological and an irrational fear, and do other people with autism feel this way, and if so, how do you overcome it?. I feel like I am not having a normal life because I am constantly worrying and having overloads and meltdowns about things. I am in supported accommodation at the moment, but the staff don't take the time to help me with these issues.
My dad, has the same issue with toothpaste. We bought a baby’s toothbrush and he worked his way up gently to a normal one.
Also try different toothpastes. A lot of them a harsh. Try “Basics” toothpaste by Sainsburys or supermarkets equivalent. They are very mild.
i have same issues with showers. Don’t like em. It’s like simulated drowning.
With your hair, you can buy a dry shampoo from a can which you comb through.
Regardinf combing, try a large toothcomb. A comb with big gaps in it and work your way up to a regular comb or brush. With dexterity issues, you can buy special combs, brushes that older people use. Got one off eBay for around a £10.
Don’t beat yourself up. Take one step at a time.
Bethy said:I feel like I am not having a normal life because I am constantly worrying and having overloads and meltdowns about things.
Yep. That's how I feel, Bethy. Sorry - not much help - but I'm struggling with everything at the moment. Even getting up in the morning. I sometimes think the worst aspect of our condition is simply having to deal with other people on a daily basis.
I use a kids toothbrush too because its really really soft (and the bonus is they come in all sorts of cute characters!). As far as what to wear, eat etc is concerned i must confess that i routinely eat and wear the same stuff which kind of eliminates the choice problem. I have a list set up for tesco on line and reorder that. For clothes i have jeans and jersey tops that are remarkably similar to each other. Food..breakfast and lunch always the same. Dinner rotates round several options each week. The routine really helps and personally i dont feel limited by it. It frees up brain space for other things so for me its a positive rather than a negative. Dont know if that would help you. Could someone help you get into a routine?
Conversely I hate feeling sweaty and oily so I end up over washing, showering up to 3 times daily. I can't get up and sit in my PJs, I must wash before.
I have shutdowns rather than meltdowns. I haven’t been to the dentist for 44 years, but luckily I like brushing my teeth, and apart from a couple of back teeth, I still have a full set.
I hate water in my ears as it feels like it travels through to my brain. Consequently I didn’t learn to swim, even when the P.E. teacher at school in the sixties threw me in the deep end of the school’s pool, depending on the theory I would quickly learn. I didn’t, and he had to jump in fully clothed and haul me out. I wear earplugs in the shower.
I hate flying due to the different air pressure.
The most detrimental of my maladies is C.B A.S. (Can’t Be Arsed Syndrome.) This afflicts me at various periods and is never fully dispelled. I skip meals. I have a beard because I don’t like shaving. When I start to look like a chap in a ZZ Top tribute band, one of my sisters sticks some clippers in my hand and tells me to trim up. I don’t like hair near my mouth, so I trim those parts regularly. I will carry on reading, even though I know there is something I must attend to. I even can’t decide whether I’m motivationally challenged or in a state of enlightened apathy. That’s not a definitive list of my difficulties, but will do for now.
As far as a cure goes, I am learning advanced meditation techniques. I am finding it helpful. Time will tell if continued meditation proves to be beneficial.
P.S. I think every autistic person should be given free access to a flotation or isolation tank. Give us a rest from sensory input.
I tried that a few years ago. I got motion sickness! Can you believe it? I certainly couldn't. Stupid inner ear/brain balance.
I don't have issues with brushing my teeth as long as I always get the same toothpaste. Showering is an issue. Hygiene wise I like baths so that's fine. But hair washing does bother me.
Food and clothes I accepted a long time ago that I'm very fussy about them and to just buy the limited amount of things that I like. Gave up bothering what people think about that. It helps me feel calm.
Tidying up in the house is a massive struggle. I have to really push myself to do that.
It is more anxiety, social events and my own thoughts that I really struggle with.
It's a shame the staff aren't providing more support for you with these issues. Is there no one you can speak to about it?
Brushing teeth is still a problem for me. I now use battery operated toothbrushes for over twenty years. I could never go back to manual toothbrushes. I also use an expanding floss. Many years ago I used to get floss stuck between my teeth and when it broke it was really unpleasant, my whole set of teeth was in pain, until the floss eventually decayed and fell out. I also use expensive toothpaste such as Oral B.
my names Jorgia (I decided to change my name about 2 years ago) as a I was chatting to a freind, he asked-if I was thinking about changeing my name,what would I change it too?Well until then, I had never thought about it, even though I am now 47, I actually thought, mm why not as I never really liked my birth name, also I no longer have contact with my family (reasons I wont go into now) anyway my child and freinds actually got used to the change surprizingly quickly, it just felt natural even from the start (as I had same name in a past life, according to my daughter:-)!)
Anyway getting to the point, I realized about 6 months to a year ago, that I have Asburgess, I mostly struggle with learning and higher education, I tried a course with Prospects a few months ago, I just ended up dropping out of it (due to lack of support)
You see I was told I could not leave Prospects to join some other agencey, until my year was up, apparently then I would be refered by my advisor at the job centre.
I am glad to say, one year on and the woman did as she said she would, and put my details into her computer, and it said yes! I could join PLUSS, which is linked to job centre (but else where though) but still in my town though.PLUSS is the best thing I have joined in ages, they are really supportive there, and the my tutor told us all on the course to just take a break when ever we needed too, its also run mainly by others who also have some kind of dissability or condition.
I too have various anxiety issues, hygene also being one of them, I dont like showering or bathing much (its mainly the thought of having to undress and get cold before hand) in the winter, I do put heating on low often, as need to dry clothes too, but I think it mainly stems from when I was a child and was made to do swimming lessons.Also I hate crowded places and extreme weather conditions too.