There are currently two daily life activities that I dread with O. That list has been reduced a great deal in the last year, but the haircut and the bath are a no go. Not just a, ‘Mom, Dad, I don’t think that I’m going to do this today’. But, more of a full body scream. Even the notion of ‘hair cut’ elicits such physical pain in him. The same reaction to bathing. And to water. I did a web search on ideas that might make this process less painful for all of us. We have used the electric clippers but that freaked him the heck out. So, we used hair scissors. Interestingly, same exact amount of tantrum and screaming. I thought that maybe the vibration/noise from the clippers were the culprit. So, we then reverted to the clippers because it makes the process quicker, but not more or less painful. It is a two person job. Actually, 3. One person to care for E. One to hold O down and try and distract him, and the other person to do the cutting. So entirely heart-wrenching for all of us involved. We tried every kids hair studio in Seattle. I cannot possibly take him back to any of them. I know that they wouldn’t say that we can’t go back, but it’s so brutal a process that it upsets everyone else. Too much judgement to absorb when all I care about is my son and I getting through the process intact. Sorry at that moment that I didn’t care how the little girl’s curls were turning out in the chair next to us. I’m sorry that my son’s gut wrenching screams upset her. To her mom who passed such judgment upon me, I can only say that, ‘believe me, I’d like for him to not be crying more than anyone in this entire world! I cannot stop this. I’d do anything to help him to stop this and don’t think that I haven’t.’ So…there will be no more hair salons or barbershops in our near future for him. Here’s what we’ve tried…we let him help us to give J haircuts with the clippers, with the scissors. Take him to the barbershop with J and he has no problem watching him get a haircut, but if you even suggest that maybe he get a haircut, forget it. We’ve tried bribery, positive reinforcement, watching a movie during, candy…pretending to cut his stuffed animal’s hair…changed venue to haircutting outside, inside, in the kitchen, in the bathroom…trying to convince him that his hair smells dirty and needs to be either cleaned or cut. Then the screaming begins and he covers his ears. Guess that he didn’t want to hear about that! I would just say to let it grow, who cares about how long his hair is, but since he will not take a bath, we have keep it short just so that we can keep it clean. We wash it with a wash cloth and also we buy dry shampoo at Sephora. You have to put it in your hand and apply it from behind so he doesn’t catch on to what you’re doing. God forbid. So, when his hair gets too long, like right now, I start getting that pit in my stomach again. Here we go…but we just have to do it. He starts to scream and then the hair gets in his mouth and then he is mad, scared, angry, and everything (not) nice. Anyone who is reading this that has any suggestions after reading this, please let me know. We are welcome to suggestions whole heartedly. Part of the reason to write this blog is to learn from others journeys by putting myself out there. There is so much and I’m so entirely grateful for those who have been down this path before me and are willing to share what works and what doesn’t for them.
I came across this video when searching for information about autism and hair cutting ideas. Get your hanky out. Bless these people’s hearts. I totally get it.
Wish us luck as we embark upon the dreaded haircut in one of the next couple of days. Ugg…I’m totally bracing myself. I just wish that I understood what about the process was so painful and terrifying for him.
I didn’t see the irony in the title of this blog until now…dreaded haircut…dreadlocks (a direction that I hadn’t even considered). I didn’t know that I was so funny 😉