Taking Care of Your Body: Answers for Boys With Autism
Why Do I Need to Take Care of My Body?
Learning how to take care of your body is part of growing up. As you get older, your body will change as you become a man. This is called puberty. During puberty, you will get:
- oily skin and hair
- hair that grows on your face (above your lip and on your cheeks, chin, and neck), under your arms, on your legs, and in your private area (the part of your body covered by your underwear)
- sweat that smells stinky, especially under your arms
- a deeper voice
- erections, ejaculation, and wet dreams. An erection is when your penis gets bigger and harder. If a sticky liquid called semen comes out of your penis, it is called an ejaculation. If you ejaculate at night in your sleep, it is called a wet dream.
These changes will happen slowly. You will have to learn new routines to keep yourself clean and healthy.
What Should I Do Every Day?
To stay smelling fresh and clean, you should:
- Put on clean underwear and clothes every day.
- Wash your hands and face every day with soap and water. Use a towel to dry off.
- Take a shower or bath by yourself. You can wash all your body parts and your hair.
- Use deodorant every day. This will make your underarms less sweaty and stinky.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day. This will help prevent bad breath and cavities.
What About Shaving?
As the hair grows on your face, you may want to shave it. Ask a parent or other trusted adult how to use a razor.
It may take time to get used to how it feels to shave. Electric razors are noisy and might tickle a little. Other razors are sharp and can cut you if you are not careful. Be careful when using a razor.
What If I Have an Erection, Ejaculation, or Wet Dream?
All boys have erections, ejaculations, and wet dreams. They are normal and part of growing up.
If you wake up in the morning and your underwear and sheets are wet and sticky, you had a wet dream. Take off your dirty underwear and pajamas. Remove your dirty sheets. Wash yourself and put on clean underwear and clothes.
What Kind of Underwear Should I Wear?
Choose underwear that is comfortable for you.
Some boys like boxer shorts because they are easy to put on and take off. Other boys like briefs because they feel more supported when walking, running, or jumping around.
Try different kinds of underwear until you find the ones that are right for you.
This Feels Like a Lot to Learn! How Can I Remember?
Having a new daily routine may take some getting used to. Here are some ways to remember what to do:
- Make a schedule so you know when to wash your face, shave, or take a shower.
- Use a picture chart or list that tells the steps for getting washed in the morning.
- Put numbers on the supplies you use, like soap, shampoo, and deodorant, so you know what to use first and what comes next.
Be prepared each day by making special kits with all the supplies you need for taking care of yourself. Make a kit for your morning routine that has soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and a brush for your hair. You can have another kit with all your shaving supplies.
Ask your mom or dad to help you put your kits together. Choose things that you like. If you don't like the smell or the feel of some of the supplies, you can go back to the store to buy something different. You have many choices. Pick whatever is best for you.