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ASD and haircuts....

(10 Posts)
yakkiyakkiyogi Fri 05-Jun-15 07:37:56

DS (3) has really thick and fast growing hair (takes after me smile). He has had a haircut every 3 - 4 months since he was 10 months old. My hairdresser who is very nice and understanding does this for us and has never complained about the screaming, kicking and basically having a wrestling match every time we go for a haircut. DS just hates anyone touching his head and its now getting really impossible to hold him still, keep his arms down just so she can use clippers all over his head for 10 minutes. He is getting too strong now and I was out of breath completely last time we got it done and am now dreading the next time like never before.

I was wondering if anyone knows of a specialist hairdressers/barbers who have dealt with children like DS with sensory issues. I don't know if such a place might even exist. How do you all go through the dreaded haircuts every now and then?

Sirzy Fri 05-Jun-15 07:47:58

Ds won't let the clipper anywhere near his head, he is better with the scissors (around his ears is left til last as that's his worst area)

I put in the night garden on the iPad and then hold him still (ish) on my knee while the very patient hairdresser (has to be the right one!) cuts it. It's never the greatest cut as he still wriggles a bit but it does the job.

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Fri 05-Jun-15 09:03:24

My 3 yo DS has ASD and I don't go to the hairdresser without my iPad. I let him do whatever he wants on it and then the hairdresser can get on with cutting his hair with scissors only.

A friend of mine has a DS with ASD and he is16. He went years without a haircut as it was too traumatic or him. V long hair for ages, and then decided he was ready to try at the hairdressers again.

NoReallyYouGoFirst Fri 05-Jun-15 09:40:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Runningtokeepstill Fri 05-Jun-15 11:14:17

My firstborn used to go to a special needs playgroup and a friend of one of the mum's came to the group and did haircuts for the children. If there are any special needs playgroups and/or support groups near you they may have someone like this or have recommendations for places to go.

yakkiyakkiyogi Fri 05-Jun-15 13:42:41

Scissors were more difficult in our case as he keeps trying to hold them to stop her and also take longer. He doesn't have any interest in ipads etc and doesn't calm down there even for Mister Maker or Peppa Pig, his favs. I would let his hair grow out but he gets quite uncomfortable with them as soon as they start covering ears (and thats his normal hair growth in 3 months, he would have had waist length or even longer hair if we hadn't ever cut it lol). I'll post on a local board but seems most likely I'll have to grit my teeth and get on with the 10 minutes I dread most....

I wish someone in London would start a special needs salon like that....its a niche market and I bet parents like me will be willing to pay well to get it done....

moosemama Fri 05-Jun-15 13:45:45

Ds1 is 13 and wouldn't set foot in a hairdresser's/barber's if he so much as heard the clippers. To him the noise is painful and I would imagine having it actually touching his head would be agony. The other sensory issues mentioned by NoReallyYouGoFirst were also a problem, as was his fear of unknown tv programmes - which isn't great as most barber's locally have the TV on, even if it's only sport.

He was extremely head sensitive when he was younger, we couldn't wash or comb/brush his hair without histryonics (sp?) let alone cut it.

When he was little I trimmed his hair myself. Started off just doing his fringe while he was asleep and gradually worked up to him allowing me to do a bit at a time. We were then lucky enough to have a local hairdresser's open in the village and they were so lovely with him. The first couple of visits he just watched his brother have his hair cut - the lack of clippers buzzing away definitely helped him cope with the environment, then eventually he let them first comb his hair, then trim the ends.

He has always had long-ish hair (think surfy style) though, as he still couldn't handle a full cut - until last school year, when sadly our lovely hairdresser decided not to come back from maternity leave and being in secondary, we need to start keeping his hair collar length. We had a disastrous trip to a barber's in the next village - dh had to almost grab the guy to stop him using the clippers, even though we'd arranged in advance that he wouldn't and poor old ds came out looking distinctly scalped - as did ds2. angry This set him right back and he flatly to have his hair cut anywhere for months on end.

Fortunately, last month we tried one on a recommendation from someone ds respects and they were great. They booked us in at a quiet time, turned the tv off and didn't use clippers on anyone for the whole time he was in the shop. He's still not keen on going back, but says he would rather go there than anywhere else.

If you can't locate a SN hairdresser, try having another look at where you take him and see if you think the environment itself is having an impact, then see if you can go back a few steps, take him before he needs to go and just get her to snip off one small bit of hair, then leave, next time a little more and so on until he can at least have a reasonable trim. I would think the clippers are probably the largest part of the problem, so eliminating them and showing your ds that haircuts are no longer scary/noisy might help.

reader108 Fri 05-Jun-15 14:05:13

We struggled with haircuts for my ds for years. He's 9 now has clippers grade 3 back and sides 5 over top recently a fringe at front.
He explained scissors hurt every snip just can't cope.
Never thought clippers would work as has several sensory issues we can go 3 different places now. At the beginning a lovely lady came around Nanny's to do it. Don't like to say it but its taken years!

NoReallyYouGoFirst Fri 05-Jun-15 18:49:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Fri 05-Jun-15 21:51:06

I cut my DS' fingernails as he sleeps too. He won't let me anywhere near them when he is awake. But he is easily disturbed when he is sleeping, so I have to do one each night. I have a system now smile

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