Jacob is 10 and haircuts and hair washing is huge problem. I am trying to find anyway possible to help him feel more comfortable. I have tried to cut his hair at home and he gets so anxious he will start vomiting, I have tried a salon and he shuts down or panics. It's the same situation with washing his hair. He really doesn't like baths or showers and when I try to wash his hair, he cries, panics or shuts down. I have used baby shampoo so it won't hurt his eyes. I bought a… read more
Hair washing has been and still is a challenge. BUT we found that N is much more comfortable in the shower. He has more control over getting his hair wet (when, how, how long, etc.) and, now that he's 12, it's more appropriate for us to not be seeing him when he's doing this part of his self-care routine! He often is willing to get his hair wet (again, this was a discovery at age 11).
Not so sure how often he uses the shampoo, or what exactly he does with it (does it touch his head? Is it lathered and scrubbed around?).
I've sent my husband in a few times to observe/enforce; not as effective when Daddy is the good cop and Mommy is the bad cop.
He discovered the hand-held shower can be removed from the holder and the settings can be changed, so that was fun for him.
Good luck, and hang in there! Sometimes these kids just move inch by inch at a turtle's pace with self-care activities.
Sorry about late reply. My son is 7 yrs and same way. What helped for hair cutting at home is that I let him sit in front of a long mirror (dollar store) and draw on it with dry erase markers or we both make silly faces at each other. This lets my guy see what I'm doing. I also have small hand mirror in case he wants. For bath time I have a shower head with different colors that light up when the waters on. All this time. I remind him that this is how Thomas the Train cleans. "Shiny and Clean" song.
Try using the swimming googles that just covers the eyes when washing his hair. Once he trusts that no soap is getting into his eyes he may enjoy the hairwashing process.
My son also strongly resists all hand-washing and baths. He loves water parks and pools and will happily jump in and swim underwater but he cannot tolerate a shower at all or any water splashing into/near his face in the bathtub; go figure! Anyway, when he was younger I let him wear his swimming googles in the bathtub because it was the only way I could wash his hair without having to hold him down at the same time. Now I put just enough water in the tub that it wets the back of his head when he lays down but doesn't come too close to his ears. As long as I am very, very careful not to splash any water in his face or ears, he will lie still and let me gently scoop water to the top and sides of his hair to wet it and then to wash the shampoo out. He seems to feel more secure/in control with that scenario instead of water coming at him from above. Not sure if any of that will help if your case but good luck!
@A MyAutismTeam Member Unfortunately, you are correct. There are so few therapists that care about the children, but once you find the one, keep them forever. Our therapy sessions usually were Jake crying the whole time, or he stops communicating, or he just has a panic attack. We finally found a place with the most amazing speech therapist. Jacob started with her and we could not understand a word he said, a few years later speaks perfectly. The thing that is unique about her is that she also has special needs so she is understanding of his challenges and really wants to help him. The challenge is finding a special person that really does love and care for the children.