Smearing is not something to be ashamed of. Like all things in life people have needs. Smearing is a way to meet a need for many on the spectrum. It can be for the tactile input, the olfactory stimuli, or the sense of it being ones own bodily substance. It serves a purpose.
There are things that you can try and substitute with in order to help your Autie or yourself to achieve a healthier way of meeting those needs. There are sensory doughs that you can buy. You can also create your own dough poo, use messy play, and social stories.
You can try a few of these things:
Scent: smell sharp smelling cheese or play doh that is scented
Touch: play-doh; slime
Visual: finger painting; shaving cream
I will add a few links for suggestions on messy play you can do at home!
Those in the autistic community be it Autists themselves or their loved ones may find this subject hard to broach. Truth is, it’s a very real thing but also not something to shame or fear. Please keep in mind your Autie is not bad or wrong for doing this. It is a natural need they are filling. We know it’s not easy for those having to clean it up. Many of us have been there and understand the frustration. Below you will find some very helpful links. Each will aid in finding alternatives to try out with your autistic loved one. There are many homemade recipes as well as some scented alternatives.