Getting autistic children to have their hair cut can be a night- mare. We have been let off lightly. Over the years we have generally got away with bribery and lately with a very gentle hair dresser who lives in the village who has been able to occupy my son with her three dogs and a trampoline in the garden which have acted as some form of enticement. At eleven however it has become harder. Last time I strode through the village with my son skulking along behind in his pyjamas and slippers. He thought if he kept them on he wouldn't have to have a hair cut!
As a result I was dreading the hair cut yesterday. My son had been mumbling about it for weeks and said he would refuse to go. I was not prepared to get into yet another argument with him and said it was his decision whether to come with me to a lovely lady in the village or whether dad took him at the weekend him to a mens' hairdressers which he hates!
My son's response was that I was torturing him. Having his hair cut hurt and it was like asking him to 'cut his throat'. Certainly knows how to make you feel like a great mum as he sits there with tears pouring down his face!
Anyway we discussed what hurt and one of the benefits of being eleven is that he could tell me it was the thinning scissors that tugged, so we talked about the trimmers which my son has seen a long time ago. We agreed if he would try them and they were OK I would buy a pair so he never again had to go to the hairdressers.
I was feeling very smug ,then ten minutes before our appointment the heavens opened and we had thunder and lightening. My son had a panic attack and couldn't go out and wouldn't let me go either!
I rang the hairdresser who is great. She offered me the trimmers so I literally paddled through the village (it was like a river in the centre two or three inches deep!) and collected them. It took ten minutes and whilst the hairstyle represented something from Edward Scissorhands my son was fine and his hair is shorter. My husband has ordered so trimmers today!
It seems that we may have discovered another new strategy for my son!