House cleaning and personal care

Hi I recently became a support worker for a man with autism and schizophrenia.

Most day he refuses to clean the house and at times him self.when I prompt him, by sharing the task and braking in two sessions, morning and afternoon he goes in what we would call a strop.somentimes by refusing his meds.sometimes stays under the duvet for hours.

If he wasn't on the spectrum, we would call it manipulation.

bribing helps at times but we worry he might get used to it and given pepsi and treats are not good for his meds, it s not the what's the solution?

If you say something can not be done that day,IE buying something tomorrow instead of today,he reacts in the same way.

My colleague says he s just lazy cause when he wants he does it .and wants attention.

I would like to find a way for him, to understand the importance of hygiene and maintain a clean environment.

Any suggestions please?

  • wOW! I have just joined the community as my son was diagnosed about 3 years ago. We had no support when he was diagnosed. I feel that my son needs guidance and so do I to. I don't know how to communicate with him, its difficult. We had a major argument about bathing, washing when he was around 12/13.... he turned quite angry & aggressive and ended up leaving the house to cool off but came back. The argument was very serious!

    Even now he's 17 washing, cleanliness, brushing teeth, tidying up his room loosing stuff because his room is disgusting. I have no choice but to help him once a week sort out his room or just leave it. But i's my house and i dont want to live like that. I try talking to him about it but he will never change. What do I do????

    I understand your situation.


    Mum of Max who has ASD  

  • Ok as an autistic adult, my thoughts (but clearly may not be relevant as we're all different). It may not be entirely (or at all) about understanding the importance of these things. It may be mainly sensory issues and overwhelm, difficulty with transitions.

    Hygiene issues are often as a result of sensory issues with eg water, soap, toothpaste etc - sensations, smells, taste may all come into it. I can't use anything highly perfumed and can't tolerate shower water on my face for instance. Check that out maybe as there are ways round that.

    For me transitions are also difficult, eg starting the cleaning, getting into the bath is a problem, but then again so is getting out once I'm in and cleaning tends to be an I've started so i'll finish epic once a month once its got to the point i cant stand it any more. If his tolerance to mess etc is higher than mine i can understand the issue he has there. To be honest the biggest source of support i now have is a cleaner once a fortnight. This removes the need for me to actually do it and reduces stress/overwhelm so i can get other things done.

    Which is my final point - overload/overwhelm/executive functioning issues. Some days/times i just cant compute what needs to happen and in what order. That happens if I've been dealing with a lot of things at once. Ironically lots of little things is worse than a-few big things. I think thats hard to understand if you are not autistic! Im an intelligent person, who can come across as very articulate in the right environment, hold down a high level job, yet sometimes i need a visual list to compute that of an evening i need to get a ready meal in the microwave, clean my teeth and set the alarm before bed. On those occasions anything else would lead to total meltdown or shutdown. I include having to deal with people, any people. Even a support worker! I think you see what I'm getting at here. If he is also dealing with schizophrenia he is quite possibly at this point when you visit so isn't throwing a strop. It's likely to be meltdown/shutdown behaviour at least in part.  Thats something he cant easily control. 

    I hope this helps a bit, at least in terms of understanding what might be going on.