Haircut Tips for Autistic Children

I can think of a lot of struggles that Cooper and I have had over the years. He is autistic and nonverbal. That alone is hard. But to this day, one of his biggest struggles was and is getting a haircut. When Cooper was two we visited a local Cost Cutters for his first trim. We put it off forever because we knew it was going to be awful. Cooper hated to sit and be touched by strangers. So, we went very early in the morning and hoped for the best. The experience was awful. So awful in fact that a patron of the store alerted a manager of a child screaming. After the stylist started crying I said never again.

That was his first and last hair cut at a public place. We let his hair grow long and tried to recover from the trauma of the hair cut. I still laugh at all of the people that gave us a hard time about letting our boy have long hair. I always wonder why people care so much.

When he was three it was time for another hair cut. I started watching videos on YouTube on how to cut kid’s hair with a clippers. I thought, I could do that! I purchased this Clipper from Walmart. It was cheap and easy to use.

I have been cutting Cooper’s hair for close to four years now. I can cut his hair from start to finish in just under five minutes. I buzz as much as I can with the 1/2 inch attachment (the orange one) and then finish with a scissors. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not the sound or vibration that bothers him…it’s more the hair on his neck and having to sit still. I offer a cape or towel for his neck before every cut but he refuses to wear one. So, we power through as fast as we can.

Sometimes, like in this video, he sits on my lap for the beginning.

As Cooper is getting older and I’m getting more experienced, the cuts get better each time. We start preparing him about a week in advance about the cut. The day of we talk about it more frequently. Eventually, he will grab the clippers himself and bring them to me. I think he gets tired of me talking about it!

I’ve also learned that Cooper is going to move around. He is going to yell and kick. He is going to laugh. The situation is going to be stressful and I’m going to sweat. But, then it’s over. And he’s so proud of himself.

After every single haircut he claps and points to his hair. He knows how cute he is. It’s pretty great.

Also, I always make sure he has his Kindle to watch. Without it I’d never even get him in the chair.

So, here it is! The long awaited hair cut video. Enjoy!


Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Betty

    December 3, 2017 at 8:29 am
    Reply

    You are an amazing mother!

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.
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