Oct 08

The haircut!

Since Brody was about 3 years old, he stopped cooperating when we cut his hair. Funnily enough, we had not given him too many haircuts before this time but when I think back to the first few haircuts, they were wonderful and it all was downhill from there! However, since Brody also does not allow me to manage his hair at all it is a necessity for Brody to receive regular haircuts. If he would allow his hair to be brushed, combed, gelled or wet then I could manage the parts of his hair that stick up and cause him to look very disheveled. I like being the mom that sends her son to school and out in public with clean clothes, clean body and hair that makes him look like he is taken care of! I like his hair a little longer but cutting it regularly is just something we do.


I believe it is a mixture of reasons why he hates when his hair is cut. Having severe sensory processing disorder, Brody is hyper-sensitive to what is happening to his body. So touching his hair, combing his hair, and of course cutting his hair is not something he allows due to the strong effect it has on his senses. I can sort of pat his head nicely, it is not that he cannot be touched at all but it can’t be much. Making the matter more difficult is the anxiety Brody now feels when seeing clippers or scissors going towards his head. At this point in time, it is impossible for Brody to hold still during a haircut. For his safety we cannot use scissors cause of how much he moves around so clippers with safe attachments have been the poison of choice (that wording is more what Brody would describe if he could).

Brody gets a handful of haircuts each year. Each time we do it, the experience is so tough for all involved, Brody, the people who help cut his hair and the people who hold his body steady. I saw people because it takes a few. I am always involved. There have been times it has taken 2 or 3 people to hold him down in order to cut his hair. Brody violently thrashes around with all his strength, screams and yells and over the years, it has increased. (You would be surprised how strong a 5 year old is, let alone a now, 7 year old). Any onlooker who does not know the situation would think we are torturing Brody. No tactic of bribery, favorite movie, TV show, candy, toys, having him hold the clippers, explaining what is happening – nothing will help the process.

A haircut, such a simple thing for most children but for us, it is something that leaves me shaky, emotionally and physically. My mother has helped a time or two and afterwards I noticed how teary-eyed she was. There is no way to help Brody calm down and it makes everyone involved, except Brody, feel guilty as though they are hurting Brody. It causes feelings of helplessness that is tough to explain and that is in addition to the physical feat of holding him still.

I wanted to post this because we did this haircut fiasco yesterday and I wanted a place to record how these go. Perhaps someone will read the post who relates or it could help someone understand how simple things for children with autism can be an ordeal.



  1. Erin

    Hello! I am just starting my own autism journey blog (and was actually trying to open my main page on Word Press when I stumbled across yours. I have a book written in my head with pictures even, but when I sit down to write it all out, I find myself fumbling around to find the right way to express so many trials and tribulations. We too, have a son diagnosed at 3 years old with ASD. He is now six years old. I can relate to so much of your feelings, but I certainly can completely relate to the hair cutting issue! Oh my gosh! Thank goodness our neighbors know about Phoenix, otherwise they would likely have called 911 many times in hearing his blood curdling screams during hair cuts…and other times as well. I look forward to following your blog here as things unfold for you. I think it’s really important to share these experiences with others. This is such a journey isn’t it? Blessings to you!


  2. Erin,

    Thanks for your comment and of course thanks for reading. It is great to meet another mother experiencing similar trials in life. It is tough but our kids are so precious to us that we just keep on fighting!! I always feel close to people who have children with autism, even if we are not close by any other standards but just share that in common. Sorry to hear your son has a tough time with haircuts as well. Good luck on your blog and getting it going. I have found it very helpful to share and almost therapeutic.


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