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Trimming fingernails, toenails and hair

(19 Posts)
MangoMonster Sun 16-Oct-11 19:12:35

is there any easy, stress free way that I'm missing? DS screams and wriggles constantly but is fine instantly when I stop.

My blood pressure can't take the physical battle. I let the hair cut go usually, even if he looks like a girl. I really need to trim is nails though for obvious reasons. Hate it, feels like child abuse! He generally hates interference and I think it's related to his ASD, as on the odd occasion he has been fine with the nail trimming.

silverfrog Sun 16-Oct-11 19:29:44

is there a way you can motivate him?

what is his favourite thing?

with dd1, we promise her raisins for sitting nicely and not pulling her hand away. we had to build htis up, right from getting a few raisins for sitting next to me while I had nail scissors in my hand (but not intending to cut her nails), then for sitting next to me and letting me hold her hand as I would for cutting nails (but not cutting them) etc - you get the picture. tiny little steps, with immediate reinforcement when achieved.

<dd1 is 7 now, and will sit for cutting fingernails and toenails, and also in the hairdressers. raisins are a good currency in this house!>

MangoMonster Sun 16-Oct-11 19:36:10

silver thanks so much, I know it sounds stupid, but I'm knew to ABA and ASD and I obviously wasn't thinking laterally. Raisins are his favourite thing at the moment, will try those next time. Sorry just had to vent. Who would have thought it could be so stressful to achieve something so mundane.

raffle Sun 16-Oct-11 19:36:58

We clip finger nails and toe nails once he is asleep, too traumatic for both him and us to attempt it while he's awake

MangoMonster Sun 16-Oct-11 19:39:47

raffle I've often had that suggested to me for various things, but he has never slept through being physically touched, he must be a light sleeper. So wish it worked, would help his eye check ups too. Thanks for the suggestion though, am quite jealous! wink

chuckeyegg Sun 16-Oct-11 19:41:59

Major haircuts are done in DS sleep! We are slowly getting him to accept a little trim when he's awake.

silverfrog Sun 16-Oct-11 19:45:43

Mango - don't ever feel stupid for asking perfectly valid questions! honestly, we have all been there.

even post intro of the raisins, I had the most awful time at tthe hairdressers with dd1 once - it took 3 of us to hold her down to finish the cut, it was one of the lowest points with her - little madam sat like an angel fro dh though hmm

good luck with the raisin route smile

<my take on ABA is that it isn't rocket science at all, but sometimes, when you are in the thick of it, you really do need someone else to pop their head round the door, and suggest things - because when you are recovering from the fallout of the mother of all meltdowns, thinking rationally is not high on the agenda, ime>

raffle Sun 16-Oct-11 19:48:51

We can get him to tolerate a mega quick hair cut if he takes the iPad with him, you could try something like that. The ears are still a risky part, but he's less likely to wiggle if he's concentrating on a game.

MangoMonster Sun 16-Oct-11 19:49:37

I'm fact, I wasnt generalising very well, I need ABA too!

chuckey, how do you cur his hair when he's asleep? You might be pretty damn hot with a pair of scissors! I can't seem to do a decent haircut with scissors, so use the clippers, which is obviously more intrusive. The bits around his ears are ridiculously long now... I might give it go though, so does one person hold him and the other trim?

MangoMonster Sun 16-Oct-11 19:51:05

Thanks silver it is easy to lose perspective.

IndigoBell Sun 16-Oct-11 19:54:15

For fingernails touch his fingers / fingernails firmly before you cut them so that he knows where they are. ( ie he probably has procepetiation problems and doesn't know where his fingers are and so is worried you're going to cut them by accident.)

MangoMonster Sun 16-Oct-11 19:57:59

Thanks indigo will try that. Tbh I worry too that I might hurt him, especially when he's wriggling. Horrible job, hate it. Hate the fact everyone thinks Im mean for doing it but otherwise we would both be covered in scratches as his stimming is centred around squeezing and grabbing with his hands and little ones have incredible sharp nails, don't they!

coff33pot Sun 16-Oct-11 21:40:35

With the cutting of finger and toe nails I sit DS next to me and I us clippers not scissors. I have my arm around him like a strong cuddle and I hold his hand first then rub his first finger quickly clip and rub the nail again. I dont know why but I think he gets a sort of funny sensation running through his nails (like the feeling of the hairs creeping up the back of your neck.) This does seem to help but I only get away with 3 nails at a time smile and the odd one on the fourth day! I also do it when he has just come out the bath as he is all soppy and cuddly then lol

Hair wellllllllll that has taken me a while. I started off with a school friend of eldest dd and just invited her to tea and a play. Then she came and cut mine and stayed for cuppa and play then youngest dds. He had a job of sweeping up the hair which he enjoyed then he finally allowed her to cut an inch off. I had to place him infront of the telly to do it with it loud though to distract him (it was down to his waist) It was gradual but now I dont leave it to long before I call her again. I tried the hairdressers but he gave the chap such a hard time last month that I dont think I will do it again in a hurry!

chuckeyegg Mon 17-Oct-11 09:48:19

Mango-Sometimes DS only gets half a haircut in the night! So I try and do it at the weekend and do the other half when he's lying on the other side. He does have to be really really tired.

He has got a tiny bit better recently and lets me take little snips at it. We are planning to take him to the barbers with DH so he can just sit and watch.

Luckily he nibbles his own nails down to a good length.

Triggles Mon 17-Oct-11 10:22:11

It has taken forever to get DS2 to sit still for getting his hair and nails cut.

For haircuts, we just had to persevere, letting him hold toys that were new, especially noisy musical toys that he could push buttons on, to distract him. He now can sit still, although with tons of encouragement, assistance, and still holding toys with buttons. He then has a complete and utter meltdown gradually over the next couple hours every time, so I can only assume it takes a great deal out of him to sit still during the haircut. You can see during the haircut that he is putting out an unbelievable amount of effort to sit still. So we try to be kind and put off haircuts as long as possible.

For trimming his nails, we started by doing one nail at a time - one nail one evening, one nail the next. Then moved on to a couple. Then one hand. Then both hands. Then when he was sitting still for both hands, we added both feet as well. He is still quite jumpy over anyone doing his toenails, but tries to sit still so it will be done quickly. It did take a long time to get to this point... months....

Grey24 Mon 17-Oct-11 17:13:41

Really pleased to see this thread, as realised just a few days ago that haircutting would be almost impossible, given how awful routine hairwashing & teethbrushing are. My DD is 2, but hair grew very slowly & so has never had a haircut, but I think will need 1st one in next month or two. It was only when I envisaged taking her there that I realised that was yet another vision of 'normality' (by which I just mean easy things which so many people take for granted with their DC) which I had to mentally delete & replace with what has become our reality. Sounds like I might have to cut it myself in the dark while she's asleep, but without touching her....!!

MangoMonster Mon 17-Oct-11 18:01:48

grin Grey, if you didn't laugh it would drive up the wall!

oodlesofdoodles Mon 17-Oct-11 18:15:00

We used to call fingernails pontipines and toenails wottingers. For some reason trimming night garden characters after the bath seemed okay. He's fine with it now.
For haircuts we started doing it in his sleep - it looked dreadful! Then progressed to plonking him in front of favourite dvd, then chumming his dad to the barbers, then going to the barbers himself and holding dinosaurs.

steelev48 Fri 21-Oct-11 21:50:54

Straight after a bath, I massage my son's hands and then cut his nails with clippers. Talking to him at the same time about something totally unrelated helps to distract him from what I'm doing. It is not completely stress-free but is so much better than it was.

As for the hair, it was recently suggested to me that I massage his scalp before a haircut. I haven't tried it yet but it has to be worth a try!

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