For Children With Autism Haircuts Can Be Traumatic Heres How One Barber Changed That
A few weeks after Francis Franz Jacob opened his barbershop in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, in the fall of 2015, he welcomed a special client.
Wyatt Lafrenière, then 4, has autism, and has never enjoyed getting haircuts. Having his hair touched can be unbearable, and certain sounds can make him go off.
Would Jacob be willing to try to cut her sons hair, Wyatts mother wondered.
She explained to me how Wyatt was special, Jacob, 45, explained. And I took the challenge, and I succeeded.
Autistic children and young people can often find having their hair cut extremely distressing because of sensory challenges associated with the condition, Meleri Thomas, of the U.K.s National Autistic Society, told the BBC. This means that when an autistic person is having their hair cut, the feeling of hands running through the hair, or hair landing on the face or body and the noise of the scissors can cause distress.
Jacob had never before worked with children with autism, so he just went with the emotions of the moment just taking time, some love and good scissors.
I just decided to follow him, not to force him on anything, Jacob said. They ate candy together. He let Wyatt put on some music. They walked all around the barbershop, playing and chatting.;Wyatt would sometimes be on a chair, sometimes on the floor. Anywhere Wyatt went, Jacob followed.
Ninety minutes later, Wyatt walked out of the shop with a good haircut and a smile on his face.
Use Visuals To Prepare The Child
Anytime a big change will happen to the child with autism which will be a change in their routine because they are getting a haircut, they need to have visuals to help them understand what is happening. This means to use;social stories of getting a haircut;for the child or taking pictures of actual steps of what is expected in a haircut.;;
For instance, it is possible that the salon manager can arrange something with a client who will understand autism and have pictures taken of the client or their child getting a haircut. This can be a good visual sequence tool for the child to see what to expect.;;
Cutting Autistic Child’s Hair
Cutting Autistic Child’s Hair. Be prepared for surprise hair cuts. Iep builder for autistic children , adhd, sensory processing disorder, communication disorder.
Autism awareness haircut event day 2 | how to cut autistic kid’s hair. Do you cut your child’s hair? Our goal at cookie cutters haircuts for kids is to provide families with an amazing haircut experience. Prepare your child for the haircut by marking it on the calendar with a haircut symbol so they know when it is coming. I can’t say i enjoy having my hair cut even now, i invested in a wahl clipper and self barber.
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Tips For Giving Haircuts To Children With Autism
For some people, getting a haircut is a therapeutic experience from getting your tresses washed and your scalp massaged, to hearing the snipping of scissors and finally finishing with a new, refreshed look. However, this same experience can be a nightmare for children with special needs.
According to a study from the University of London, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are naturally more sensitive to their surroundings, which means that haircuts can be too much of a sensory overload for them to handle. Furthermore, Maryville University psychologists argue that mental health and learning development are closely linked. This implies that the emotional events that children go through can impact how they progress in life, even more so children with special needs.
To help in this particular situation, here are some tips to keep in mind the next time your kids are due for a haircut.
Autism Haircut Tips & Sensory Considerations
- Use something soft for a haircutting cape such as an old bedsheet – something that can be easily washed – or place a soft towel between your child and the cape
- Opt for scissors instead of clippers as they are less noisy and don’t have vibrations to worry about
- Offer your child ear defenders during the haircut and try to cut around them as much as possible or use earplugs
- Give your child something to fidget with during the haircut like a Tangle for their hands or a chair band for their feet
- Let your child sit on a wobble cushion to let them wiggle as needed
- Dust off cut hair from your child’s face and neck frequently
- Offer lots of breaks and work in chunks
- Check in frequently as you cut to make sure your child is still okay and comfortable
- Use a haircut social story to explain haircuts and to prepare your child
- Have a shower or bath immediately after to wash off any loose hair
- Consider your child’s mood
- Put on a TV show, movie, or some music that your child likes and use it as a distraction during the haircut
- Talk about what you are doing so that you child knows what to expect and where
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Preventing Problem Behaviors During Haircuts
Many children with autism have a very difficult time tolerating haircut. It is a very challenging task for them. Besides that, there are some activities that make them disturbed such as nail clipping and all kinds of medical procedures. Now, lets dive in and mention some ways that caregivers can make haircuts more tolerable for them.
There was a boy named Max, who was two years old. He was not yet diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. In fact, Max never got the diagnosis of autism but he had major problem behaviors, such as screaming and crying throughout the day. One day, his mom insisted that she needed to take him to get a haircut. And she needed a behavior analysis to go along to see this haircut and give the analysiss advice.
So, without making an appointment or selecting a kid-friendly hair salon, they took Max to a franchise type of haircut salon. And obviously, it did not go well. They got the newest hairdresser. She looked like a deer in headlights. Max was already crying as soon as they entered the salon. Max was just two, so his mom had him wrapped around her, screaming and flailing, and the hairdresser was not able to do a good job. It was just a bad experience all around.
When there are problem behaviors, it is really a no-win situation. If a child with autism is having severe problem behaviors, you are going to want to consult with a professional to help you individualize the plan, in this case, it is a haircut plan.
Tips To Improve Hair Cuts For Children With Autism
ByGarrett Butch;;|;;Submitted On December 14, 2008
For children with autism, getting a hair cut can be a difficult experience. For their parents the experience is often painful and full of stress, tears and frustration. When my son was first diagnosed with autism my wife and I struggled taking him to get hair cuts. We would often wait weeks past the time when his hair would look ragged and long, just to avoid the barber. After learning some small tips and developing a plan, we now are able to get his hair cut without issue. This process takes time and patience, but is worth the effort. As a father of a child with autism I have been there and understand how difficult it can be to take a child to get their hair cut. I have been slapped, scratched and my son has had a number of meltdowns that have left me on the verge of tears.
Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.
Maximum Potential has developed courses created by two PhD BCBA’s that train parents and school systems how to work with children with autism. To learn more about ABA and how to learn how to work with autistic children at home visit our web site.
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Haircut Tips For Autistic Children
I can think of a lot of struggles that Cooper and I have had over the years. He is autistic and nonverbal. That alone is hard. But to this day, one of his biggest struggles was and is getting a haircut. When Cooper was two we visited a local Cost Cutters for his first trim. We put it off forever because we knew it was going to be awful. Cooper hated to sit and be touched by strangers. So, we went very early in the morning and hoped for the best. The experience was awful. So awful in fact that a patron of the store alerted a manager of a child screaming. After the stylist started crying I said never again.
That was his first and last hair cut at a public place. We let his hair grow long and tried to recover from the trauma of the hair cut. I still laugh at all of the people that gave us a hard time about letting our boy have long hair. I always wonder why people care so much.
When he was three it was time for another hair cut. I started watching videos on YouTube on how to cut kids hair with a clippers. I thought, I could do that! I purchased this Clipper from Walmart. It was cheap and easy to use.
Sometimes, like in this video, he sits on my lap for the beginning.
As Cooper is getting older and Im getting more experienced, the cuts get better each time. We start preparing him about a week in advance about the cut. The day of we talk about it more frequently. Eventually, he will grab the clippers himself and bring them to me. I think he gets tired of me talking about it!
Haircuts For Kids With Special Needs And Autism Social Media
YouTube Page; Do you like to watch videos about kids haircuts?; Also, what about first haircuts, toys, and video games?; Finally, special haircut ceremonies like Mundan or Chudakarana?; We think our YouTube channel is probably for you!; Furthermore, click and subscribe to our channel to watch our great videos, and get special offers and deals as well!
; Facebook is the flagship social media page of Just 4 Kids Salon.; Further, on our page you will find lots of great photos, inspirational quotes, and invitations to special events we are having.; Finally, just click the link and Like Us today!
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We love to listen to our followers and like to provide timely updates to trending topics in pop culture.; Further, we love keeping up with news and trends!; Finally Click our Twitter page and follow us now!
; Google Plus is a great new social media platform incorporating a social layer across various services such as Picasa photo storage and sharing.; Also, it includes widgets for GMail, Calendars and YouTube.; Finally, be sure to follow us on it, and contribute to our content!
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How Can I Help My Child With Autism
You can also practice at home with combing, brushing and pretending to cut with child scissors. You might use your own hair or a doll to show what is done. As autism awareness increases, more people have some understanding of our kids. Take the time to find someone who has worked with kids with autism.
A Note About Haircuts:
Our hairstylist comes to our house and used to cut our kids hair where they are comfortable while they play with toys or read or watch TV to distract them. If this isnt possible for you, pass these tips along to your salon to help them be more sensory friendly.
You also may want to ask them about the calming clipper kit. This sensory friendly barber kit is made just for kids with sensory needs. You can also use it yourself at home where your child is most comfortable.
Biggest Tip About Hair And Sensory Needs:
As odd as this sounds, dont work at all on trying to increase your childs ability to handle having her head or hair touched. Leave the hair alone as much as possible and instead, focus on increasing other sensory activities: sensory play, heavy work, sensory input.
If you are working with an OT, ask them about dry brushing. This type of brushing is for the skin, not the hair, but is best under the care of an OT.
Get a copy of Sensory Processing Overload Signs to print off and keep as a reminder here.;
Autism: The Children Who Find Haircuts Painful
Sitting in a hairdresser’s chair may sound simple, but for a child with autism having a haircut can be painful. One barber has developed a unique technique where he will cut a child’s hair during long periods while sitting on the floor, on window sills or even in the car.
This weekend, as part of an autism awareness event, he and 11 other barbers will cut the hair of 60 children with autism.
Four-year-old Mason has autism and is non-verbal. He always found having his haircut traumatic.
His parents were at their wit’s end after trying to take him to the hairdressers.
Eventually they read on Facebook about a barber who had successfully cut the hair of another child with autism.
It took four months of hour-long fortnightly visits to James Williams’ barber shop in Briton Ferry, Neath Port Talbot, before Mason let him cut the hair around his ears.
“I had to join him lying on my stomach,” said Mr Williams. “As a barber it is unnatural to have that experience lying on the floor to cut hair as you are always supposed to stand by your chair doing it. The day that happened we were laughing on the floor doing it.
“Mason was just oblivious to everything, he was watching BBC News 15 seconds on repeat. But that was his day, another day it would have been different. He might not have let me near him on his next visit.”
He posted pictures of him cutting Mason’s hair in his shop on Facebook and it went viral, with actors Ashton Kutcher and Michael Sheen tweeting about it.
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Hair Cutting And Nail Clipping For Children With Autism
December 3, 2012 by kimkaplan
Heres a common nightmare for parents trying to get your autistic childs hair cut or her nails trimmed. Have you had that experience? Its not very fun for our kids.
First, Ill describe what I know about these two issues. My husband and I learned a long time ago that there was a possibility that our autistic child would have a negative reaction when it came to cutting his hair and clipping his nails.
We were told that people with autism often feel hair cutting and nail clipping much differently than typical people. They feel uncomfortable, they hear the noise of the clippers, and they can even experience pain.
Even though I cannot accurately know what my child went through while his hair was being cut or his nails were being clipped, but he was almost always uncomfortable in some way.
He is better with these two issues now that hes older, yet neither of them are his favorite things to do. I have asked him a few times if he feels pain during those activities, but hes never really answered my question.
What did we do?
Hair cutting: Our child was bald for the first year of his life. When his hair did finally start to grow, we didnt cut it for a long time because we were so happy to see hair on his head. We really let it grow out and he had long, blonde locks.
I cut his hair until he was around four. It was at this time that my poor cutting skills began to bother me. I knew it was time to try getting it cut at a salon.
Haircuts For Kids With Special Needs And Autism Next Steps
- Haircut at a specific time / hour of the day
- No blow dryers or loud sounds in the background
- A quick in and out visit
- In detail explanations or illustrations for your child during their haircut
We are here to help!; ;Simply let us know before hand and we can assist.; We also offer an auxiliary salon area that is completely separate and secluded from the main salon, and may work better for your child.
Find A Salon That Has Experience With Cutting The Hair Of A Child With Autism
You can contact your local;autism support community;to get references for salons that are experienced with cutting the hair of children with autism. Salon managers that are familiar with autism are the only ones you will want to use for when you take your child for a haircut. They will know how to handle difficult situations that crop up during a session.;;
Tips For Easy Haircuts
As we mentioned above, haircuts can be a challenging task for children on the spectrum as well as their families. There are several challenges they have to face. So, in order to help families in terms of haircuts, there are some useful tips to use. They need to know how to prepare their children for a haircut. First of all, a visual schedule. It is not only useful for haircuts but for haircuts, it helps the child understand the steps, what is going to come one, and other.
A hairdresser can start with a friendly hello. The greetings part is very important. He/she can physically get down to his/her level to meet and communicate before escorting him/her to the styling chair.
The hairdresser and parents should make sure him/her gets comfy. One the child get in the chair, the hairdresser will try to make him/her feel more comfortable and relax by putting his/her hands on his/her laps and his/her feet on the bar of the chair. The hairdresser will then put the cape on unless the child feels more comfortable without it. Then, the hairdresser should reassure the child by telling him/her some shooting sentences.
The process should be fun. The hairdresser should make haircut fun. At this point, the hairdresser will either play a video, play calming music or even blow bubbles to keep the child entertained.
As the last step, before you know it the haircut is over and the child looks great, the child is given a special treat for doing such a good job.
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