Thursday, September 13, 2007

Autism Reality - Conor Gets A Haircut

Yesterday was a haircut day for Conor as these before and after pictures show.

Ordinary events in everyday life can become big challenges with an autistic child. Haircuts with the noise, the temporary restraint of the barber's chair, the itchy discomfort, the intrusion by another person into the child's personal space, can all add up to serious resistance by Conor.

A few years ago I would have to hold him, restrain him, in the barber's chair. He would get so upset that he would literally bite into my shoulder. Things are better now but it is still a challenge getting Conor's hair cut.

Haircuts are planned for times when few other clients will be around, in a smaller establishment, with the same lady who has been cutting Conor's hair for several years. With all that it is still not easy.

It is the skills, understanding and patience of the lady who cuts Conor's hair that makes it happen fairly smoothly. Sometimes we all take people, and what they contribute to our lives, for granted. One of the side benefits of having an autistic child is that you come to fully appreciate people who add to your child's life - and yours.


Anonymous said...

Nice "dew"... Our son also finds haircuts to be a very negative experience. He was so upset/angry/frightened the last time he cried for an hour.


Anonymous said...

Our son has finally learned to accept getting the haircut, but it wasn't easy. We had to get him using scissors on his own first before he'd accept anyone coming near his head with them. Unfortunately, he has also taken to cutting his own hair, which has led to some fairly funky haircuts! For us, the big problem is dentistry. We have not been able to get a dentist within a foot of his mouth. All those weird looking shiny tools, the antiseptic environment, and having a stranger look into his mouth are too much. The place looks like those other places where he had those painful vaccinations! We had to restrain him to get an x-ray and, no surprises, we discovered three cavities. However, instead of a simple filling like most kids we have to go to an orthodontic surgeon who will have to do a few simple fillings while my son is under a general anesthetic. All this at about four times the cost of regular fillings!

Anonymous said...


Our son also requires GA for dental work. Rather then going to a private clinic you might try to find a Pediatric Dentist who can refer to a local Hospital (and then your Anesthetist charges might be covered by your Provincial Medical plan... ). This is how things worked out for us the last time around (westcoast.... BC med paid the bill for the GA).