Ask the Experts

Q: How Can I Get My Son to Care About Personal Hygiene?

Boys with ADHD sometimes forget to shower. And shave. And wear deodorant. And change their socks. In middle and high school, other kids begin to notice when personal hygiene is not up to snuff, and your son could face social consequences. Here, learn how to help him keep up appearances and build healthy habits.

Listen to “The Social Lives of Boys with ADHD”

Q: “What advice do you have regarding boys with ADHD and hygiene? My oldest son is going into 12th grade and still needs daily reminders to brush his teeth and comb his hair before he leaves the house in the morning. He often needs a reminder to take a shower and cut/clean his nails, and he almost never shaves without being asked. I have shared with him many times the idea that people develop impressions about others based on appearances (without directly saying that the impression he gives is that of homeless person) but he doesn’t care. What else, if anything, can I do to help him, especially as he is probably going to college next year.”

A: “I find that parents are sometimes not fully transparent with their kids about others’ feelings or impressions because they’re worried about hurting their feelings. This is a situation where you cannot worry about hurting his feelings; you need to be fully transparent. To do this, put the focus on his peer’s thoughts by doing this…”


Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Ryan specializes in working with males (ages 5-22) who present with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, and learning differences; he is the one professional in the United States who specializes in teaching social cognitive skills to boys from a male perspective.

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