I am writing to ask any advice that would be helpful for lessing my son's anxiety during haircuts. My son just turned 3 years old, and nothing seems to be helpful. I take him to cartoon cuts and they have TV's at every station and play cartoons, but cartoons are not a distraction. My son is terrified of haircuts. He is afraid of the sounds and is afraid to be touched by strangers. He screams to the top of his lungs and my husband and I have to hold him still… read more
You could try desensitizing in the head and neck areas. Prior to a haircut, about two days before, I use a small vibrating massager on my 8yo's head and neck area, focusing more on behind his ears where he is very sensitive. This has been a tremendous help and our OT was so helpful with this issue :). You can use a motorized toothbrush if you already have one to see if this might help your child. Best of luck!
@A MyAutismTeam Member those are some good tips. You can also try play acting at home, showing a video or read a book about the process and talk about it a lot. Describe the noises (maybe even while you have him watch others get theirs done), ask the place if they'd be willing to show him around and tell him all they can about it all. My child was always scared of having her nails clipped, she's just getting over it now that she's 8. She also hates to have her hair brushed and trimmed. But it's getting easier. You do want to do all you can to stop it, once he gets so big you won't be able to hold him down and make him do this. I'd even buy some cheap $10 clippers and a doll head and let him go at it if he would. Just keep explaining every detail of it, maybe even make a map of sorts so he can check it off. Like: Pulled up to (place), get out and walk through door, sit and wait about 5 mins and then sit in big moving chair. And so on. He can use it as a check list if he's better with that. You can take pictures of everything and put it on the map so he'll be more familiar with it as well. My ideas can be endless sometimes and sometimes they have to be. Try anything and everything till you see it helping. He might be able to try some yoga and meditation now, my girls did that around that age and it seemed to help them. Hope something helps. Good luck!
My son who is 3 years old has been getting haircuts since he was 3 months old. Has been getting them from the same lady for 3 years. Our problem is not that the noise bothers him..it is he does not like his ears being touched whatsoever! We get the oreo minis and we say first cut around ear then oreo. Usually this works. Sometimes though he is screaming so much that nothing will calm him down.
We also do buzz cuts. The kit from Walmart was about $30 and gets the job done. There was a LOT of resistance at first, but like anything else, Scott eventually got used to it. He can go to a hairdresser now, but since he actually prefers his buzzed look, we still cut at home to save money.
Just start with the #4 comb, and do it all. Then switch down to a #3 and cut to about the ear level. Then switch in a #2 and do the bottom. Grab the ear guides (slanted combs) and go around each ear once with each comb - MAKING SURE YOU HAVE THE LONG TEETH UP. Made that mistake once.
We do ours in the garden tub, and send him straight to the shower afterwards.
Finally, remember, when it comes to boys the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is usually just a couple of days...
Have you tried letting him model the activity? Try giving him safety scissors and let him cut a dolls hair, let him pretend to cut yours (without scissors of course), then pretend to cut his but try snipping the safety scissors over his head. You may be able to desensitize him to that sound. Play with his hair at the same time, picking it up and holding it as if you would cut and let him watch you in a mirror so he can see that you aren't cutting.