Global News

December 28, 2012

In autism, there's no such thing as a simple shave and a haircut

Liz Becker

I tried taking my autistic son, Matt for professional hair care, but I soon found that there was no such thing as a simple haircut. Matt, not wanting to sit in the chair, put on the apron, or watch a pointed object approach his head, would struggle and fight through the entire process. I finally decided I would have to attempt to cut his hair myself. I hoped that maybe being in the comfort of familiar surroundings of home, that maybe, just maybe, we could be successful.

I talked him into sitting in the chair and even in wearing the plastic drape, but all that cooperation disappeared when I got out the scissors. As I tried to trim his hair Matt would unexpectedly jut his fingers up between the blades of the shears in an attempt to stop the process: he squirmed, twisted, his hands in constant motion the entire time. He especially hated the sound of his hair being trimmed around his ears - his hands again flying upward to cover and protect them. It was exhausting, for both of us.

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