Healthy Hygiene Habits

Many families struggle to teach or motivate their child with special needs to practice good personal hygiene habits. The Family Support team has gathered some resources for parents and caregivers looking to better support their children to become more independent and create positive and healthy hygiene routines.

Personal Hygiene for Kids This guide, developed by Otismo, a social enterprise start-up that creates educational games for children with disabilities, discusses multiple ways to teach personal hygiene skills. Strategies such as task analysis, visual guides, video instruction, prompt & fade, chaining and role playing are all highlighted. Download Guide


Hygiene social stories Download free visual social stories that can help children prepare for and follow personal hygiene steps. Please note: some of the social stories include drawn depictions of nude bodies for educational purposes. Download Stories

The Healthy Bodies Toolkit Vanderbuilt Kennedy Center has created free downloadable parent guides to puberty for children and teens with disabilities. Parents can access either the ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ toolkit to learn how to start puberty-related conversation, support their child to develop good hygiene routines and help them learn about their changing body. Learn More

Personal Hygiene Activities for Children with Visual Disabilities This guide, written by certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist Jennifer Freeman, = is focused on supporting children with visual disabilities or sensory issues to develop personal hygiene and offers in-depth advice of areas such toileting, hand washing, hair washing, dental care, showering and bathing. More Information


How to conquer independent bathing Discover more than 20 tips and strategies from an Occupational Therapist to help your child learn to shower or bathe independently. More Information

When bathing is an issue for your child with Sensory Processing Disorder Shawna Wingert wrote this first-person account of her child’s struggles with bathing for the popular website, The Mighty. Highlighting some of the barriers to bathing and personal care faced by her child with Sensory Processing Disorder, she also shares some of crowdsourced solutions. More Information

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