The 5 Simple Tools You Need To Make Haircuts Easier For Kids With Autism
Autism Haircut Tips
Let’s face it. Haircuts cause stress.
- Pre-plan One week before the haircut is scheduled, put the pre-chosen date and time on your child’s weekly calendar. Pick a reminder time each day for a quick 1-3 minute conversation about the upcoming haircut. Visual planners are amazing because your child can see and reference each day and week with each item that is planned. This cements the upcoming changes in his mind each time he glances at it.
- Create buy-in Grab some magazines or head onto the internet and look for hairstyles that your child would love. Give them a couple of favorite choices to decide between. Often when your child has some control and choice in the change, the transition will be smoother.
- Change the narrative Turn a negative storyline into a positive one. “I don’t like haircuts!” “Haircuts are scary!” My kid says haircuts hurt! Find a new story to tell about haircuts. Choose a personal sentence that expresses a positive view of the haircut. ie-Next Monday I will get a haircut that I picked out!
- Transition object Does your child have a favorite outfit, t-shirt, sweatshirt, toy, stuffed animal, or any other comfort item? Comfort items ease the anxiety between changes. They are a little piece of home that your child can take with them for comfort. Take it with them to the haircut.
- Rock the haircut You have talked about the haircut every day for a week, picked out a fresh cut, practiced a positive phrase, and have a favorite outfit picked out. Time to go with no rushing or worries and get the new haircut. You got this, mom and dad!
Don’t forget to post an after haircut selfie if they want to show the cut off to family and friends!
Haircuts for Children with Autism Resources
Getting A Haircut Social Story Video
Hey there! I’m Betsy. Mom, RN, special education teacher and blogger at In Case You Need To Know. Working hard to bring you the best resources in autism.