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ASD children and haircuts...(8 Posts)
My son is almost 7. Hates the noise from a hairdresses/barbers. Cannot stand the clippers and scared of the scissors. His hair is growing at odd lemgths. Today he actually got in the chair but once the water came out he wasnt having any of it. Anybody care to share any advice or tips they have/haven't had any success with?
I think it’s a case of taking it slowly and finding an understanding hairdresser they can trust.
Ds has had the same woman his whole life it took ages but he really trusts her now. She recently moved to a new location so invited him in to look around and get to know things a couple of times before his next appointment
My son is 9 now and we are at last able to go to the barbers with minimal stress.
First of all, I go at the quiestest time possible - the barber near us is very quiet on a Monday afternoon - usually there is no queue at all or maybe just one other customer. Its quiet and calm. Ask your barber when their quietest time is. You could always ask them to turn down any music playing.
Try out a few barbers until you find a place that is understanding. I went to a few places that didn’t seem to have ever heard of autism - but many are used to children with autism.
I have a quiet word with the barber before each haircut to explain he has autism and how to manage him.
I ask them not to try to chat with him or make jokes as it will just annoy him while he feels stressed - just keep talking to the minimum needed to get the haircut done.
No paper around his neck, no spraying water directly onto his head. They spray it on the comb away from him.
He holds a cloth over his mouth to stop hairs going in as that used to upset him.
He brings his tablet - we upload cartoons from netflix and he watches some cartoons on mute - Angry Birds is good as there is no talking in it so it is fine on mute - and it is funny so it distracts him. Being distracted is a big help as after a short while he stops noticing the scissors or the razor.
He gets a small reward afterwards.
We also go at the quietest time! I let him play his DS while we wait with headphones on so he can zone out. The barber then puts something on the iPad for him to watch and angles him so he faces that not a mirror. He talks him through everything and will tell him when he is using clippers, scissors and water spray. When he uses the water spray we cover his face. I son still hates it but will now go through with it but only at the same barbers that he knows which is now a 30 minute drive away! I suggested trying a nearer barbers yesterday....big mistake! Oh and the lolly at the end always helps. I used to just do it (badly) with clippers so we have made huge progress!
If he likes baths, get a hairdresser to visit, stick him in his trunks and have it cut in the bath. It's so much less of a sensory assault when in water.
We managed to get clippers accepted (which we do at home) after he became obsessed with Ooglies and we stuck googly eyes on the clippers.
Nice guys thanks for the advice. Plenty of pointers that that I have taken on board. Definitely don't want to resort to cutting it myself if possible as I'm not sure it would look tidy at all. I trim his fringe in the night occasionally just to stop it going into his eyes.
My little boy has long wavy hair to his shoulders, he would not cope with clippers, the strangers and other people and does not like having his head touched so long hair suits him. From being tiny and before diagnosis I could never use the hairdryer around him with his sensory issues and the noise it makes. People comment how nice he looks, I trim the fringe in the bath if I think he is having a good day and maintain it myself.
cutting it yourself to an inch all over seemes to work for ds. I cut it to two finger widths.
alternative get a hairdresser to come to you. they use scissors so less noisy while child watches computer/telly/phone
ds has only just started going to the barbers, now he has discovered a pride in his appearance. There is a lot of combing and styling going on.