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Haircut Anxieties and Tips for Special Needs Children

Does your child feel anxious when getting a haircut?

If so, you are not alone. For children with special needs, haircuts can be a source of anxiety and stress. The unfamiliar sights, sounds, and sensations of a haircut can be overwhelming for special needs children who have sensory issues. For example, the sound of the scissors, the sensation of clippers, water spraying, the noise of the hair dryer or the physical constraints of sitting still for an extended period of time can be challenging for them.

In this blog post, we'll explore some tips and strategies on how to make haircuts more tolerable for your child, in order to lower their anxieties:

Before Haircut

1. Roleplay session, social stories about going for a haircut. This helps children to be familiar with what occurs during a haircut.

2. Plan a visit to the salon. This helps children to be familiar with the environment and hairdresser.

3. Watching someone they know to have a haircut such as siblings, parents or friends.

During Haircut

1. Shift their attention from the haircutting process

  • Prepare their favorite items such as toys, songs, movies, books or puzzles which can keep the children occupied and distract them from discomfort during the haircut.

2. Bring familiar items from home

  • Bring along a towel or comb that they usually use at home which can create a sense of familiarity for the child.

After Haircut

Reward your child with his / her favorite snack or favorite place to celebrate the achievement. So your child feels motivated and looks forward to the next visit!

Remember, it's okay to take your time and find what works best for your child. Haircut is an important part of self-care but it doesn’t have to be stressful. With some patience and preparation, you can help your child to feel more comfortable and confident during haircuts.

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