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Personal hygiene, puberty and periods

For our Daisies, looking after their personal hygiene, particularly during puberty, can be extremely challenging. This can be due to lots of different reasons, but can often be sensory-related. Here are a few tips and links from parents in our community to help ease the way.


Toothbrushing can be difficult for our Daisies for a number of reasons. These may include the sensory aspect of toothbrushing – the feel of the brush in her mouth, the vibration of an electric toothbrush, the texture of foaming toothpaste, or the flavour of the toothpaste. It is important to believe her if your Daisy tells you that this is a problem for her.


There can also be challenges around the routine aspect of brushing twice a day, which can feel like a demand and therefore cause difficulties relating to demand avoidance.

Your role

If she is able to, ask your Daisy to tell you what it is about toothbrushing that she dislikes. This is a good starting point so that you can look for strategies or possible alternatives to the products that you are using.


“We asked our NHS dentist to refer her to the Special Care Community Dental Service. They had a waiting list, but they told us that now she will be on their books until she is 18.” 

You may find it useful to read more about this on the NHS website.


You could also try different shapes of toothbrush such as a three sided one, or one shaped in a big curve. Links to products are in the list below.


Bathing / washing

This can be very tricky for neurodivergent people, particularly during puberty, when the need to wash more frequently becomes more obvious. There are several possible reasons behind this:

  • For a Daisy who does not find change easy, suddenly finding that her body is changing can be hard to cope with, and not adapting to the change may be a way of trying to ignore it and stay young.

  • Having to wash regularly can feel like a type of demand.

  • She may not be aware of the smell of her own body

  • She may have difficulties with the sensory aspect of washing or bathing. This can include being naked / removing clothes, the sensation of the shower, being cold before / after bathing, etc.

  • Getting dressed afterwards can feel awkward with damp skin, particularly if she is getting ready to go out in the morning.

What you can do to help

  • Consider evening baths or showers instead of in the morning, to lessen the time pressure when getting ready for school or college

  • Have the heating on in the bathroom, to make it less of a temperature shock when she is getting out of the bath or shower

  • Have soft, fluffy towels and comfy clothes ready to change into when she is done

  • For facial care, try different products with her until she finds one she likes. (See the list below).

“We managed to start an armpit washing routine over the summer holidays, before it was really needed. We bring her a damp flannel, soap and towel into the lounge and she has a quick clean before she gets dressed in front of the tv. She also uses a tiny amount of deodorant. This is now our routine on school mornings. She then has a shower most evenings and a bath at least once a week.”

Puberty and Periods

Coping with puberty and periods can be difficult for our Daisies. Understanding what is happening to her body, and the emotional changes that go alongside it, can be difficult changes for her to get used to.


As well as the bathing difficulties listed above, she may be struggling with coming to terms with growing up in other ways. She may need reassuring that the changes will happen very gradually, and not overnight. You may find books useful, such as What’s Happening to Ellie?


She may find that her sensory discomfort increases due to hormonal changes, which may make her more sensitive to clothing textures, and to the new sensation of wearing a bra.


The change in routine, and getting used to managing the practical aspects of her period, can be very difficult to cope with. Add in emotional hormonal rollercoasters, and possible period pain, and you can see why it may be difficult for her.

What you can do to help

  • Allow her to come to terms with puberty in her own time. This may take longer than you would like, but she will need time to adjust.

  • She may react against growing up by wanting to act and be treated like a much younger child. This will not last forever, but may be a stage she needs to go through to be reassured that things will be ok.

  • You may find it helpful to read books together that explain about puberty and body changes. Some suggestions are in the list below.

  • She may like to try different bras and / or period products until she finds ones that she feels comfortable with.

Books that might be helpful

Products our community loves:

Dental products:

Facial wash:



Period Pants:

A big thankyou to all our parent/carer community for all your contributions!


Join our community: Our private Facebook group is for sharing tips and to connect – it’s for parents or carers of neurodivergent girls or gender diverse young people in south west England.


Do you have any comments or suggestions to add? Please email and we’ll keep updating this page!

These products are recommended by our community, but products are not affiliated with or recommended by NeonDaisy at all. Please see our disclaimer here.

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