HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Aspergers Kids and Meltdown-Free Haircuts

“Our 4-year-old Aspergers son (high functioning) refuses to let us cut his hair. Even the mention of it causes him to start to meltdown. He’s starting to look like a girl. We’re a bit desperate at this point. Any advice?”

Cute kid ...are you sure you want to cut his hair?  Just kidding!  Here are a few ideas:

1. Allow your Aspergers son to give an old stuffed toy or doll a haircut while his hair is being cut. This may help him learn to generalize the experience. You or the barber can also use the stuffed toy to demonstrate what it is you need or expect your son to do (e.g., act out directions to 'turn your head to the left' or 'look down').

2. At home, use this opportunity to teach other daily living skills, particularly hygiene and grooming. For example, your son may learn how to undress/dress, shower or take a bath independently, run his own bath water at the right temperature, wash his body properly, determine how long to stay in the shower or tub, clean the shower/tub, put his dirty clothes away, use deodorant, choose an appropriate outfit to wear, etc.

3. Be sure your son has a cape, sheet or towel draped over him. Most Aspergers kids hate having hair fall on their face, body or clothing.

4. Buy a good quality home haircutting kit. Look for clippers with blade guards to avoid cutting the hair too short.

5. Develop a routine for haircuts. Try to schedule them for the same day of the week and time of day whenever possible (e.g., every other Saturday at noon).

6. Edge the front, sides and nape of the neck first for a 'shape-up' -- then cut the hair. Should your son not tolerate a haircut before you or the barber are done, a shape-up will give him a clean, fresh haircut look, even if the hair has not been entirely cut.

7. Explain to your son exactly what you are planning to do during the haircut. Use short sentences and/or visual supports using personal pictures or icons. Take a picture while your son is getting a haircut. Take a picture of all the items used. You may also use icons or PECS.

8. Focus on the task at hand. Try to cut hair as fast as you can without rushing. Do not dawdle. Try not to stop cutting hair to talk to others, in person or on the phone.

9. For a youngster that is sensitive to the buzzing noise of the clippers or the repeated 'snap' of the scissors, try using soft, flexible ear plugs. Also, consider singing a song or playing some of his favorite music.

10. Lessons and tasks on daily living activities may be expanded in time as appropriate. For example, your son may help put items away, clean and oil the clippers, sweep or vacuum hair off the floor, or put their dirty clothes and towels in the hamper or washing machine.

11. Observe your son while cutting his hair. Is there anything in particular he dislikes or finds intolerable? If so, try to make it better.

12. Once the haircut is done, admire your son's clean-cut appearance. Show him how he looks in the mirror. Take before and after photos so he can see the benefits. Use this opportunity to begin to teach him how to comb and brush his own hair.

13. Reassure your son during the haircut. Explain each step of the way in a slow, steady voice. Let your son know that the end is near. This step may be faded out gradually as he becomes familiar with the process.

14. Remember to give your son a reward or bonus that he will enjoy. Give him a choice for his bonus. A reward or bonus will show him that, although we must do unpleasant things sometimes, at other times we get to do things that we enjoy.

15. Schedule a haircut when your son is least likely to be 'sensory overloaded' or feeling overwhelmed by the information he is taking in through the five senses. Try to avoid scheduling haircuts after school or when your son is ill or tired.

16. Take each haircut session one at a time. Observe your son, take notes if necessary. You will learn more about your son each time.

17. Think of a few activities, toys or food your son really enjoys to use as his special reward or bonus.

18. Under supervision, allow your son to handle the clippers and other items used for the haircut. At home, allow him to help you prepare for it. For example, he gets a towel, and the comb or brush. Teach him how to clean the clippers (e.g., brush off any loose hairs from the blade and oil the clippers). This can be a good motivator, and it is fun.

19. Unless your son is better able to tolerate a haircut, keep his hairstyle simple. For example, 'fades' and 'parts' may take longer to cut. Try the 'Caesar' style which is a low even-blended cut all around the head.

20. Use unscented shampoo and conditioner if your son is sensitive to smells or odors. Before you begin a haircut, wash the hair to remove any hair products build-up. Cutting clean, dry hair with clippers is much faster. The hair will cut easier. Some Aspergers kids do not like having their hair washed.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

 
COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said...  i know how you feel i cut my son's hair for years I took him to hair dresses and it was awful now i tell him a week before i do it, he sits on the table and slowly cut with scissors ( im not a hairdresser by the way) and just cut the long bits off first time i did it i managed about 5 mins now after about 18 months he will sit for 20 mins and it not brilliant but so much better before. He watches whatever he wants and has a lollypop afterwards. But i will say remind him everyday he will get it will it doesnt hurt show him the sciissors etc good luck x
•    Anonymous said... A social story?
•    Anonymous said... Becci, I've never seen this question posed as a "hygiene" issue re: girls who don't want haircuts, and she specifically said he is starting to "look like a girl."
•    Anonymous said... Bribery works for my aspie son
•    Anonymous said... Bribery. Simple:) Anything he wants, but, he only gets it when the cut is completed. Something tangible, have it in hand and show him. Good luck. Try a few snips at home to show him it doesn't hurt. Perhaps have someone come to the home to do it. My son hates the clippers. Be firm. he will walk on you forever if not. He looks cute btw:)
•    Anonymous said... Bribes work well, to get them over the agonizing hump. I have come to embrace bribery as an important tool in dealing wirh my sons challenges.
•    Anonymous said... Can he tell you what the reason behind not wanting his hair cut is? Once you find the source of the fear you have somewhere to start.
•    Anonymous said... Deep scalp massage before the haircut works for my son
•    Anonymous said... For my kiddo it's the noise, combined with a general fear of being cut. Earbud headphones with kids music have helped with the noise problem (they don't really get in the way, and the music helps him stay calm by distraction). When it comes to the fear issue, we helped him get over it using semantics. It was no longer a hair *cut*, but a trim, or a buzz. It still bothered him at first, but he was much more willing to try when "cutting" was taken out of the equasion. On the other hand, theres absolutely nothing wrong with him having long hair. My little guy just doesn't care for it. Make sure your little one isn't objecting simply for choice of style. He may have an opinion on how he wants to look, but not have the words to say so. Good luck
•    Anonymous said... Have you tried one of those dun places for kids??
•    Anonymous said... I am talking about my son. He is 12 and has outgrown it for the most part.
•    Anonymous said... I cut my sons hair. It's a struggle, but we get it done. We have 2 types. The whole head and just the sides and back. I ask him a few days in advance, and everyday leading up to the cut, so he knows it is coming and I let him know which cut he is getting. We also do it just before bath time so he can jump right in and get cleaned off.
•    Anonymous said... I finally had success doing haircuts in the bath or when my son was absorbed in his favourite tv show. Unfortunately hair salons remained a no-go zone for many years due to the sound of dryers, clippers & phone ringing. Hairdressers who come to you are worth their weight in gold - not as rushed, patient & all in familiar surroundings - home! Hang in there xo
•    Anonymous said... I found a barber shop where the buzz clippers had a vacuum attachment. No hair fell on my son. Other times he played video game or watched a movie while his hair was cut.
•    Anonymous said... I had to bribe my son some times.. other times I choose my battles. He is almost 13 and I let him choose his own hair as long as he keeps his grades up. He has been teased in school for looking like a girl. His choice, I tell him
•    Anonymous said... I have a 16 year old who has longer hair than me....its a hypersensitivity, change and security thing. As they grow, you learn what to 'let go' of as not 'really' important in the scheme of things. Its only hair, its part of them and I'd rather have a happier kid than traumatize them for societal or our judgement of what is normal...who wants to be a sheep anyway? ( I am saying this with good intention and lots of experience) so I agree with Jo.....let him be and you can all be happy
•    Anonymous said... I have to say that I am quite surprised that so many people on this page are being so vehemently judgmental. This child has parents who clearly want to cut his hair or at least make the process (something that we all have to do at some point) less traumatizing for him and they have a right to do that. How about we make the effort to be helpful and refrain from mocking them for making their own decisions. For some this can be a real problem considering a great number of our boys don't like personal hygiene and long hair can pose a problem if they won't let you wash it! I am in the group of parents who started early familiarizing him with the beauty shop and then making sure I took him to someone who wasn't nervous to trim a child was important as well. There have been times that my kids wanted longer hair like their friends but then there are times that it really needs to be cut. My advice to these parents would be to take it slow and ease him into it and he will get there but if you force it he will always be resistant to it. I'd also like to ask everyone else to try to be supportive as a community instead of putting down parents who are already under the stress of having to figure out how to best handle situations that wouldn't be an issue for parents of neuro-typical children.
•    Anonymous said... I learned to cut hair. we do it in sections, a little bit over two or three days. Its fine if you want him to cut his hair, there is no need for you to feel bad because you want him to have shorter hair. I realize you have to pick your battles (there are so many battles) but the fact is youre his mom and he needs a haircut. He is going to need to learn to tolerate it at some point.
•    Anonymous said... I sat on the floor with my son, about the same age, and cut his hair while watching his favorite cartoons. It took quite a while but we had an nice little boy cut in the end. After he got it cut the first time he would come ask me to cut it.
•    Anonymous said... I started by snipping bits of wet hair off in the bath while he was playing with his toys, and slowly progressed from there.
•    Anonymous said... I was able to find a cutter that my boy liked where he would not sit for anyone else. So, try different places and see if your child will "warm up" to a cutter.
•    Anonymous said... I'm sure he doesn't look like a girl, but a boy with long hair!,,, they learn sense of self worth from you, so chill. Does it matter what anyone else thinkS?
•    Anonymous said... It's you who has the problem with ridiculous gender norms, not your kid. Let him wear his hair the way he wants.
•    Anonymous said... Let him make he choice. My aspie donated 16" of gorgeous long hair when he was 9.
•    Anonymous said... my 11 year old son won't let us cut his hair either. He explained to me that he didn't care if people thought he was a girl because he knows he's a boy. He said to me, "Mom it's not your hair, it's my hair and i want it like it is."
•    Anonymous said... My 9yo is the same way. I just figure it is his head, so he can have it as he likes.
* Anonymous said... My 6yo doesn't like it long but doesn't like it to be cut. So we spend a few days prepping him, then cut it with scissors. I cut as much as I can the first day while momentum is high, then finish the next day. Again, with lots of verbal prep.
•    Anonymous said... My kid did the same...I started with just putting the clippers not running closer and closer to his head...letting him handle em and "play" with them to familiarize himself with it. My sons hair grew half way down his back twice before 3. He turns 3 next Tuesday. If clippers scare start with buzzy electric tooth brush. And scissors. Do a piece a day if ya gotta. BUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH LONG HAIR? I don't think I would say he looks like a girl, that's your perception bc you in your culture associate long hair with feminist ways. Many warriors and cultures cherish long hair. Sounds like your more worried about what people think than what works best for him. If he likes his hair that's all that matters.
•    Anonymous said... My son (12 yrs) is the same. He has never been to a barber. Periodically his hair irritates his face and he consents to a cut. If you associate with hippies like I do it won't matter - men and long hair are a dime a dozen
•    Anonymous said... My son had hair to his waist by time he was 7. It's an unfortunate cultural idea boys look like girls when they have long hair. I figured as long as my son was comfortable, I would be too. When he was 8, he decided to have a hair cut.
•    Anonymous said... My son is 11 now, but used to have this problem. He said it "hurt" to cut his hair. It could be a sensory thing there...for a while he only let them use scissors, then it was only clippers, and now he's over it, though he still doesn't like it and complains for hours after that he's itchy (even after showering). Have you tried taking him along with a friend? Sometimes peer encouragement is helpful. Or perhaps you can just trim it at home until he's ready.
•    Anonymous said... My son is 6 now and was always terrified of getting a haircut..finally I started doing it myself right before or after a bath...he didn't like it at first but we had to use some bribery the first time and gave him a little Mario brothers toy to get him past the fear the first time...he still fussed about it but improved every time. After he was comfortable with me doing it we took him to a great clips, the hairdresser let him hold the squirt bottle and he was so distracted spraying the bottle that he didn't care about the haircut. Yes it was a wet mess, but he got his hair cut without a meltdown and has been fine with haircuts ever since. We don't let them use the clippers or hairdryer and he doesn't like the apron so we just take a change of shirt for when he is done. It takes time to get them there but it can happen!
•    Anonymous said... My son is the same so we are just gonna let him tell us when he wants it cut. He's 9.
•    Anonymous said... My son is the same way only he doesn't like the feel of hair (even his own). It makes his head feel itchy to the point he scratches holes in his head. But, he doesn't like his hair cut...yeah, talk about a catch 22. What we do is find something on the computer to watch and put ear phones in his ears. He watches something with a towel around his neck while I quickly shave off his hair. When I'm done he hops into the shower right away to wash off any stray hairs that got under the towel. This is the most successful way so far.
•    Anonymous said... My son is the same way, and nothing could convince him to cut his hair until he was ready. He'll grow it for a year or two, until it's really long, and then one day he'll want it cut and I have to act FAST before he changes his mind. You might think it looks bad, but there are so many more important battles you'll face. I'd let this one go.
•    Anonymous said... My son is the same way...I am a hairdresser and cut my families hair... I let him grow it in the back..he has a mullet that he LOVES (me not so much) but he is happy. When I had kids in my chair that were a little "difficult" I stayed calm and cleared off my station, handed them a squirt bottle that they could squirt them selves in the mirror with...or me... this seemed to do the trick in a lot of the cases. I am also a firm believer in bribery! That seems to work every time
•    Anonymous said... My son just turned 14 & we have always had a battle with this one. He also said it "hurt". All these suggestions are great & did help @ times. A month ago, he had his 1st haircut that he didn't complain about. For the last several years I have taken him with me when I get my hair done. He got to know everyone. He actually asked my hairdresser to do his. She took her time, washed it first massaging well. He told her how he wanted it. I made a point to keep my interest in a magazine as I was under the dryer. He did great & can't wait to go back. We did have to come straight home so he could shower. He also has never liked his nails cut. He is now doing them although they get kinda long before he will trim them. My son matured early & has had extreme body odor & never did baths or showers well. We finally got a prescribed deodorant that has helped tremendously. I got an electric razor for him to use to shave with knowing a regular razor would be totally not doable. He played with it for several months taking it apart & even spent a couple sessions with his therapist. The therapist would bring his razor and they shaved together. We discovered he will use the trimmer better than the razor with the circle blades. Everything just takes trial, error & lots of patience with our kids
•    Anonymous said... My son used to complain that the SOUND of his hair being cut hurt his head. He had long hair for years before he finally decided it was okay to cut it.
•    Anonymous said... My son waa afraid because he did not like the noise the clippers made, so it took us doing it at home and having him put his fingers in his ears. He is now 15 and he does just fine. it took us a long time to have someone else cut it. We also let him hold the clippers and test on his arm.
•    Anonymous said... My son was like that too for a very long time, then after a few years we used the whole "look daddy is shaving his hair and looks soooo cool" and then he wanted to look like daddy, sometimes we wouldnt be quick enough and only get half his head shaved before he would change his mind, so i would have to wait till the following day to finish it off
•    Anonymous said... My son was the exact same way. He didn't like the sound of the clippers. So we started taking him to a barber and only use scissors. It was less stimulating for him.
•    Anonymous said... Never ever use clippers or a razor. Once we stopped letting the barber use them he calmed down a little. Also had to tell them not to brush or comb against the way his hair lays naturally. He would scream that it hurt when they did.
•    Anonymous said... oh no, he looks like a girl!! the horror!!
•    Anonymous said... our son is 14 and just got his first real boy haircut. Pick your battles. He got mistaken for a girl all the time. I took him to the hair dresser to visit lots because he had a lot os fears and didn't like the sound of the scissors. Find a hair dresser he likes and stick with her. Ours used a portable DVD player and treats and a lot of encouragement certificates ect and now no big deal although he still holds my hand and only goes 2 times a year. Hope this helps
•    Anonymous said... Reward, A BIG REWARD. I bought my son a brand new video game, of his choice.
•    Anonymous said... There are quite a lot of boys with longish hair these days... I would be tempted not to say to him he looks like a girl, as this might add more to an anxiety. In the end, like with so many things, the less something is a battle, the better. He might change his mind by himself... school holidays ahead, in a few weeks time, the crisis might be over.
•    Anonymous said... this last time i put on a show that really engaged him and sat behind him. i told him before what was going to happen but as long as he continued to just sit and watch the movie everything would be fine. It took about 45 mins to get a decent cut but way less of a meltdown situation. Hardest part was near the front of his face. by that point i brought in treat reinforcements for sitting.
•    Anonymous said... This looks like helpful advice & gives a window into the viewpoint of Asperger children who have sensory hyper-sensitivity. BTW, my ed. psych prof was just saying that many movie theaters have showings for special needs children in which they lower the sound. The intense volume of some theaters is upsetting to some. (remembering when we had to leave a loud circus)
•    Anonymous said... To start my son off we took him to a place that put kids in trains/planes then after the cut they could jump into a ball pit. They gave him bubbles to blow too! (Distraction was the key) OH..and bribery works too!
•    Anonymous said... Try cutting it while he is asleep
•    Anonymous said... We had the same issue with our son and discovered that he just didn't want US to do it. We found an amazing hairdresser by sheer luck that would ease him into the chair, let him have a sucker (had to keep rinsing it off though lol) and she didn't use scissors, only the buzzers which she would say "I'm gonna tickle you!" He thought that was cute. When we moved, I took him to a kids cuts place and that hair dresser had a very cold personality and super loud voice. He tore that place up trying to get out. Took him to another place to try again later, a cost cutters in a mall and found a lady he didn't react that way to. So for our son I think it has more to do with voice tone; feeling comfortable and safe with who is doing it in addition to all the sensory stuff.
•    Anonymous said... We had the same problem. It turned out that Eli was terrified of the electric clippers. We found a nearby SuperCuts that will agree to use scissors only and now we put the haircut on the calendar in advance, remind him the day before and in the morning. Before we leave we let him know that if he's calm and doesn't have a meltdown, he can choose a treat to afterward, but if he doesn't keep calm, he will have his electronics taken away for the rest of the day. We've been successful about 4-5 times in a row now!!!
•    Anonymous said... We went through the same thing with our son and it took time to get passed it. We found a barber that he seemed to like and would bring his favorite toy and treats with us to try to help distract him. It took a few trips of visiting the same barber regularly before he started to calm. He's now been going to him for just over 2 years and toys and treats are no longer needed. We still stop in if we are in the shopping center just so he has the chance to say hi, once he started thinking of him as a friend he started to trust him so he no longer had a problem with being touched.
•    Anonymous said... We went through this when my aspie son was about four. He hated haircuts because he was afraid of the hair dryers and the clippers that they used (he hated the buzz and the way they tickled). Once I started explaining his fears things gradually got better. Now he will get a haircut with no problem, still not his favorite thing in the world, but he has learned to cope, even with the clippers. He is seven now...good luck!!
•    Anonymous said... We've been dealing with this for a few years. My son also says his hair hurts to be cut. In addition, loud noises are terrible for him, so we have to avoid the clippers that buzz in his ears, and the "fun kid salons" are not possible for us because they're too loud. When he was younger I trimmed his hair when he was in a bath (as another poster mentioned), but lately he's agreed to go to a salon, as long as they know from the start not to use trimmers and then I tell the stylist what to expect (lots of complaints, moving around, etc.) it's important to instruct the stylist that a perfect haircut is not necessary -- just cut it as best as they can while he's moving and complaining. I've lowered my expectations and now we're all happy!
•    Anonymous said... And of course with aspie kids, their refusal to comply with things they have to do, is a challenge!!!... I am trying to teach mine, in some things we have to do, if we want to do it or not...that's life!..as brushing his teeth, he has to do this!..there is no choice not to!.. So, I tell him to find a way to deal with it, count numbers, sing, humm, whatever helps him to get through it!..progress will happen!
•    Anonymous said... And what's wrong with "looking like a girl"?! However... my ASD son also hates having his hair touched, brushed, cut etc. It's a constant battle. He has asked that it's dyed pink soon, once he leaves school. He, like many, many other autistic people, doesn't subscribe to gender stereotypes.
•    Anonymous said... Associating long hair with a gender is a cultural stereotype, and autistic children (and adults) are above that. Forcing them into these stereotypes is part of breaking their spirit.
•    Anonymous said... Here's my handsome 8 year old with Aspergers. He HATES the clippers but can handle a trim with scissors. I just remind him that long hair (especially curly!) requires care. Washing and brusing/combing. Sofar this has been more tolerable than a haircut!
•    Anonymous said... I cut hair...and my son was the worst customer I ever had...lol...it's the sensory issue they have that makes it so difficult... My son is 5 now, and about a month before his 5th birthday, we had success!... He asked me crying, if I could cut it "tickle over comb"...which is really a cutting technic for "clipper over comb"...he just associated the buzzing clippers with tickles, and is OK with that... So I of course did it "tickle over comb" for him...lol...around the side and back...and cut the top with the shears, which he is OK with that...He never liked the sound of the shears around his ears or neck, or the slightest touch to his skin with the shears, would send him into frantic meltdown mode...so I can use shears on top, to pull up his hair with my fingers to cut and have to use clipper over comb for sides and back...Good luck!!!!!
•    Anonymous said... I cut my sons hair as well and it takes a week to convince him, but he always succumbs. Sometimes it takes money. He is 16, so it effects his facial acne too. Even with all those factors we have to convince him. I wish he would realize how easy it is to not have so much hair because washing and brushing it takes a lot more shampoo and time.
•    Anonymous said... I had this with my 14 year old son for years & still he hates getting it done but sadly I had to b honest with him & tell him that his hair didint suit him long & that I didint want him getting bullied for it sadly children can be cruel & life is hard enough for them my son has aspergers & enough struggles without standing out because of long hair that did not suit him either my son now goes but I have to prepare him a day or 2 b4 hand that he needs to get his hair cut & also I tell him that after I will give him money for his favourite sweetie or can of juice this helps encourage him have u tried maybe having some1 come to ur home to do it? Sometimes the crowds & strangers can be scary for these children hope u find a solution xx
•    Anonymous said... I had to cut our sons hair and use a distraction. He said it hurt to cut the hair and his nails. I did not take him to a barber until he was 11. Now at 13 he is totally fine with it all and is not sure why he was so afraid when he was younger. Compromise carefully and patiently, I find that at 13 my son is beginning be easier with all these things and I think it is because we tried to reduce drama/trauma and be patient and respectful. One time it took me more than 1 hr to get a splinter out if his finger.... Slow and patient. Keep encouraging them that they are ok, that they do not need to be afraid. You will protect them and not purposefully hurt them.
•    Anonymous said... I have a like minded 6 yr old son, new things or things that pushes him out of his comfort zone or a tedious challenge and can take quite a while before he accepts the thing in question, I find by putting the ball in his court and letting him take an element of control and letting him come round to doing such things of his own decision gives him confidence, eventually he'll be having a good day and decide to go for it happily coz he wants to instead of it turning into a dramatic emotional battle, take a step back be casual and introduce going to hairdressers with family and friends as much as poss, eventually he'll decide he wants a haircut too wen it feels right for him, then that should be problem over n next should be straightforward like ther was no issue in first place, I've used this strategy quite often, it works for mine, good luck
•    Anonymous said... I have the same issue with my boy. He gets so upset and anxious at the thought of the hairdressers. I invested in a clipper set and do it myself at home. Still not keen but will tolerate it.
•    Anonymous said... I was reading somewhere there is a good hair dresses near or in tinlids. Haven't been but reviews seemed good. I'll see if I can find the link.
•    Anonymous said... I wouldn't use the stereotype that he looks like a girl to dissuade him. Try just using a scissors. That's what I did with my son and he allows that.
•    Anonymous said... My 10 year old daughter with Asperger's hates brushing her hair, won't let many brush it either  Hair cuts are ok for us, but we r lucky if she brushes her hair or teeth more than twice a week  I would try asking him to cut his own hair. Give him the control his anxiety needs him to have over the situation. Just my humble opinion. Good luck!
•    Anonymous said... My 14 year old still hates haircuts. I have to give him a few days warning then add a bribe. I cut it at home because he hates when the hairdresser tries talking to him. By doing at it at home we avoid that portion. He says it hurts when his hair is touched let alone clipped or cut.
•    Anonymous said... My Aspergers son and I would compromise a little. I cut his hair at home with clippers, but would let him watch his favorite show on TV or iPad. I would just minimize the amount of time with clippers and try to scissor the rest. And if you miss some spots, just snip them later now and then when he is doing an activity he is involved in. Long process, but it works for me. After he saw the clippers didn't hurt him it became easier he is 8 now. I started using clippers about 3-4 years old. He would want to hold them and see how it worked before he would RELUCTANTLY let me use them. It still can be a challenge though. I usually give him a few days to a week warning that he will be needing a haircut so he can prepare himself.
•    Anonymous said... We also have a son nearly 15 he wasn't diagnosed until he was 11 we could never understand y he hated his hair being cut let alone brushed etc.. When he was younger like everyone above we did it at home with scissors only and it would take us weeks to convince him and always with a bribe as he got older we took him to hair dressers but would tAke us nearly an hour just to get him in the room then another hour in the chair (they were very understanding when we explained our situation to them) he now has a regular hair dresser that he sees and will only go to that one.. When he was younger he used to work himself up that bad he would get big red welts where his hair landed on him so we used tissue paper and lots of baby powder so his hair wouldn't touch his skin.. And always had to have a shower straight after.. When he was little I even cut his hair while he was having a shower to prevent it touching him.. It does get easier but it has been a long 14yrs to get to where we r today.
 

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32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our Aspie also hated haircuts and it was a huge ordeal every time. We finally came up with the idea to let him pick his haircut out of a book. He loves books and this seemed to work for him. we have also taken him to a kids hair salon the last few times and that helps as well. He can watch a movie or play a video game while they cut his hair. Only problem was he "couldn't" leave until he finished his game level! Wish we had found this place years ago.

Anonymous said...

My son is 7 yrs old and still has problems with hair cuts. We have found that the hair cut places that are just for kids work well. Watching a movie or tv show while his hair is getting cut makes a big difference. Also he Hates when any of the hair gets on him so I stay nearby to help wipe off hair. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

my 7yr old was really great at getting his haircut until some thoughtless hairdresser somehow scratched him on his chest when she was cutting his hair, so for months he'd only allow my mum to cut his hair it was only last week when he was finally happy to walk back into the hairdressers so he got a reward afterwards

Anonymous said...

My son too is not the biggest fan now and use to scream. Just keep re assuring him through with it cause it has to be done. It is something he will have deal with. It gets better over time. My son has come along way and he is 8 now :)

Anonymous said...

To be fair, so what if he looks like a girl - these kids put up with enough prejudice, i was actually really sad when my boys wanted their hair cut. But it cam from each of them. (incidently people still say my youngest looks like a girl, even with short hair) I for one couldn't give a damn what other's opinions are, of the way he looks. I say if he doesn't want it cut, it's up to him!!!

Anonymous said...

Bring him to a kids cutting place where he can sit on a fun animal chair and watch tv. Before hand, discuss with him what reward he would like and while he's getting his hair cut, keep reminding him of his reward. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

My fourteen year old son in the last year has been okay with haircuts. After trying everything we could think of we decided to just let his hair grow. He thought he had won the battle until the hair started tickling his ears. At that point it was summer and I asked him if he would like to give his dad a haircut with the clippers. He was hesitant because of the noise they made. After a few minutes of watching he decided to take over. After we were finished his dad's haircut his father cut our son's hair with the same clippers. It might not have been the most fashionable haircut but it helped him to start to get over his fear of the clippers and having a haircut.

Anonymous said...

Let him grow it! Why should we assume boys need short hair?

Anonymous said...

Pick your battles! I opted to let my son grow his hair but had rules - it had to be cleaned (what that looks like for his hair type and activities) - it had to be combed at least once per day and again if there was something special (ex picture day or wedding/family event) - OR it was going to be cut. I reminded him, and only twice pulled out the scissors but never had to cut it. It got long. his dad hated it (reward for my son who found that funny) he got called a girl which didn't bother him and he eventually decided to get it cut - when he was ready. HIDDEN VALUES: He had better hygiene in his teen years (YEA!!!) , and was more cooperative over all because he felt a part of decision process.

Anonymous said...

My 8 year old has a problem with the sound of the clippers. We either ask them to cut with scissors only or bring an iPod with ear buds. He also doesn't like the hair all over him, so we just ask that they are extra careful & brush it off often.

Anonymous said...

Let it ride, and look on the bright side, my son wants a red mohawk and a spiked bracelet because he saw a goth dude in a kilt at the gas station and has not forgotten that! But he will go to the bb shop thank God! Like Carol said pick your battles.

Anonymous said...

Our 12 year old always hated haircuts and it was a huge ordeal every time he had to get one. A few years ago I tried letting him look through the books at the shop and he picked out his own hair style and for the first time sit still throughout the entire haircut. We have continued this and he has been so much better. We also tried the kids salon. He got to play a video game while getting a haircut, but then didn't want to leave until he finished his level! You know how that goes!

Anonymous said...

My son, 10 years, ASD, has never gone to the hair salon, I have always cut it. I finally figured out how to do it without a lot of moving, and carrying on. I put him in front of computer, or handed him an ipod to focus on. It still can take a lot of convincing, and he has to come to it himself, but it works now. And, I am getting pretty good at it.

Anonymous said...

My son, 10 years, ASD, has never gone to the hair salon, I have always cut it. I finally figured out how to do it without a lot of moving, and carrying on. I put him in front of computer, or handed him an ipod to focus on. It still can take a lot of convincing, and he has to come to it himself, but it works now. And, I am getting pretty good at it.

Anonymous said...

Let it ride, and look on the bright side, my son wants a red mohawk and a spiked bracelet because he saw a goth dude in a kilt at the gas station and has not forgotten that! But he will go to the bb shop thank God! Like Carol said pick your battles.

Anonymous said...

My 11yr old has always had a problem with hair cuts. So I bought clippers and cut his hair myself do that we could stop when need be. My 6 yr old who doesn't have asbergers doesn't like hair cuts either. My brother knows how to cut hair now do he usually does it and he's the uncle so he understands his nephew and is very patient. There is a lot of crying, getting out of the chair, stomping, yelling about having hair on him and in his mouth. I tried rewards and once we start it goes out the window with him he doesn't care about rewards anymore. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Give him the clippers and let him do a small portion himself. My son was the same way. It'd take 5 people to hold him for a haircut. After I let him try it himself we've never had another issue.

Anonymous said...

I have a daughter with aspergers & while on a course I was speaking 2 a lady who had a child with autism, her child had the same problem, over the course of a few weeks she introduced a social sorry about going to the hairdressers & what would happen & that the hair will grow back, also she found her child was worried they would be 'losing apart of them self's' she told her child a story about what would happen to the hair (her story was the birds take it to make nests for baby chicks) in the weeks she introduced the social story she also let her child go to the hairdressers & watch her get her hair cut a couple of times to see the process & to explore the shop until they were comfortable with it, it took time but now that child is happy to get a hair cut.
4 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

Yep we have had difficulties at times too. Im just letting him grow it atm...its winter anyway....and hes happy.

Anonymous said...

I hate to admit that I just bribed my 11 year old with McDonald's to get his cut the other day.

Anonymous said...

My son, 10 years, ASD, has never gone to the hair salon, I have always cut it. I finally figured out how to do it without a lot of moving, and carrying on. I put him in front of computer, or handed him an ipod to focus on. It still can take a lot of convincing, and he has to come to it himself, but it works now. And, I am getting pretty good at it.

Anonymous said...

My son was like this for a while. I had to take him to the kids haircut places that charge >a lot< for them to give him toys to keep him busy while he is there. He's gotten better though and now I am taking him to the regular places. I just warn them ahead of time that he is aspergers and they usually give me someone who is very experienced with kids. He fidgets a lot still and I have had to walk him through it a bit.

Anonymous said...

My 13 year old hates hair cuts too. He has Albert Eintsein hair. At some point I had to let him start making his own decision about haircuts. So long as he showers and washes it I am fine??? I just don't want to see it down to his waist.

Anonymous said...

My 12 yr old has a mullet ... His choice.... He used to freak if he could pull it with his fingers and I was always buzzing it. Now he likes the feeling of it long... And he has beautiful curls and can pull off the look... I told him the back can stay long as long as it is clean and I tiddy up the front once a month for him... Being a hairdresser myself really helped ....I am the only one who has ever cut his hair.... I have so many other battles with all 3 of my kids that I have learned what ones are important to fight and what ones aren't.

Anonymous said...

Social stories and experience. Start with a story about a boy getting a haircut. You may have to read it together a few times before he is ready. Then take him to watch someone he loves and trusts get a haircut and let him experience it up close, watching. It might take a bit.

Anonymous said...

My 11 yr aspergers boy says bribe him with ice cream as he is having his hair cut.

Anonymous said...

I bought clippers and learned to cut my son's hair myself. It is still difficult for him at 6 yrs. old but he muscles through it for a special treat like fresh cookies or a sucker.
22 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

I have exactly the same for my 4yr old. I got clippers (which he hates) but I have asked if he would like to do it himself (I obviously watch and make sure his hair is cut nicely) and the last time he eventually had a few go's and that seemed to help a little bit. Its still horrendous anytime we need to cut his hair. I am considering growing it because that means one less anxiety he has to cope with.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say, just keep trying if you can. Go back to the same haircutting place so that it is a familiar place, and go to the same hair dresser so she is familiar. I agree with the bribing. My son would tell you that it works too because it gives them something else to think about instead of thinking of the hair cut (he is 12 now). Also, social stories are a MUST for the younger ones!! We read them over and over and I made sure to explain exactly what would happen, why, and what happened to the hair. My son was freaked out because he thought they were cutting off part of his body when they cut off his hair. He has come a long way!

crystal pugh said...

I've been a kids stylist since 1993...currently i have my own business going into schools and homes in VA doing family haircuts. A large % of my clients have at least one child on the spectrum. When calling a salon or kids salon ask for someone who specifically knows how to deal with kids with sensory disorders. Don't assume that all kids stylist know(believe me, i mangaged 2 childrens salons and it's amazing how many non kid people worked for the companys). Good luck to you all and if anyone wants to ask questions or if in Northern VA have a home haircut visit my email is youthsalonspugh@yahoo.com
my site is down right now but it will be up again soon www.YouthSalons.com

S. Ricklefs said...

Why do you want him to cut his hair?
Everybody has his own personal image and we parents need to accompany and escort our children to grow up. They are not our own, only our kids. :)
It doesn't hurt anybody, so why?
The Autist ( and everybody in this world) is different anyway, so let him express himself!
My boy wanted his hair growing, when he was so little as your son was.
It was difficult, cause I couldn't use a hairslide, you can use if you have a girl, but somehow it worked out, and after it was long enough, it also looked very nice.
Then, there came a time, he wanted to get his hair real short, with styling gel.
I was watching all these kids at school, everybody had different haircuts, longer, shorter, with or without gel. So, why not?
You can't please people anyway!
I regret, that I didn't listen to him, when he was three years old and told me that he wants to have long hair and let it first happen, when he was already sixth year old.
My Boy is my boy, no matter what people think. He is first place!
Now, he is nearly 18 years old, he had different styles in the meantime and now letting it grow again.
Everybody is searching his own image, who he is and his own way, so let him try and help him, I would say.
My best wishes <3

S. Ricklefs said...

Why do you want him to cut his hair?
Everybody has his own personal image and we parents need to accompany and escort our children to grow up. They are not our own, only our kids. :)
It doesn't hurt anybody, so why?
The Autist ( and everybody in this world) is different anyway, so let him express himself!
My boy wanted his hair growing, when he was so little as your son was.
It was difficult, cause I couldn't use a hairslide, you can use if you have a girl, but somehow it worked out, and after it was long enough, it also looked very nice.
Then, there came a time, he wanted to get his hair real short, with styling gel.
I was watching all these kids at school, everybody had different haircuts, longer, shorter, with or without gel. So, why not?
You can't please people anyway!
I regret, that I didn't listen to him, when he was three years old and told me that he wants to have long hair and let it first happen, when he was already sixth year old.
My Boy is my boy, no matter what people think. He is first place!
Now, he is nearly 18 years old, he had different styles in the meantime and now letting it grow again.
Everybody is searching his own image, who he is and his own way, so let him try and help him, I would say.
My best wishes <3

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