If you have a child with autism, you know that some of the most mundane tasks can be seriously overwhelming. Haircuts are a particular problem because of the sensory sensitivities that come with the disorder. If your child needs a haircut, it may seem like an insurmountable task. With the tips here, you'll be able to prepare your child and help ease the process as much as possible.
Advanced Planning Makes a Difference
You'll want to take time to plan the appointment in advance. Don't try to book it the day before, because you may find yourself with a stylist who doesn't understand and a child who is stressed out. Think about what your child responds to most when you create your social stories and lessons to teach your child what is going to happen.
If he or she is visual, create a plan with pictures that tells the story of what will happen. This eases the unfamiliarity, which can help to calm some of the anxieties. You can even practice at home using a comb, mirror and play scissors. Use a doll so that your child can do it, too.
The advanced planning also gives you time to talk with the stylist ahead of time. You'll want to work with a stylist who has experience with kids on the spectrum, because that's the best way to ensure compassion and understanding for your child's struggles.
Addressing Sensory Issues in Advance Can Help
If you know that your child is going to feel uncomfortable tipping his or her head to the wash sink or having someone run water around their face, consider bringing your child to the salon with wet hair. That way, there's no need to wash or wet it. And, try to work out any tangles with a comb on your own, because that's likely to be easier on your child. Finally, bring along a favorite diversion, such as a music player with headphones or a smartphone with games. This will help to shift the focus away from the haircut.
Going on a Regular Basis Eases the Unfamiliarity
It may not seem logical to do something more frequently if it's difficult, but the immediate struggles of frequent haircuts will soon be rewarded with easier subsequent appointments. The familiarity developed from the more frequent appointments makes it easier to face them.
With the tips presented here, you'll be able to help your child face haircuts without the risk of any meltdowns. Check out places like A Cut Above for more guidance about your child's appointment.Share