3 year old who refused to bath or shower and was unable to dress or undress self

Therapist: Jill van Heerden, Service: Mobile Occupational Therapy

3 year old who refused to bath or shower and was unable to dress or undress self

A little girl who would happily watch her siblings in the bath or shower but refused to get in herself. Struggled with dressing and undressing tasks and very dependent on her parents.

3 year old girl. One of three children, delayed expressive language and general developmental delay. Very supportive parents, engaged in multiple therapies.

Sensory processing concerns-sensitivity and associated flight, fright, fight responses were impacting on her ability to engage confidently in self-care activities. Delayed motor skills impacting her dressing skills.

In home therapy-began a graded desensitization approach, using a laundry tub of water, started with just having her feet in the tub and playing with glitter in the water and sea creature toys. Slowly with support she asked to sit in the tub, and after 3 sessions of sitting in the tub and sensory play with a variety of water play items, spray bottles, funnels, scoops etc she spontaneously got in to the bath one night and continues to enjoy a bath. Creating a relaxed and calm environment at home to support positive associations with bath time has supported her tolerance to water and the task of washing. She started taking her own clothes off in order to climb into the tub of water (motivation was high) and is now independent in undressing.

Happily baths each night, actively involved in the task of soaping and washing and tolerates hair washing as well. Independent in removing clothing and semi-independent in dressing.