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Mom shares challenges of taking son with autism for a haircut

January 12, 2016

Haircuts can often be a challenge for people on the autism spectrum. Jackie Spinner, whose son has autism, wrote on The Washington Post about her own personal challenges with her child going to get his hair cut right before his first birthday. She writes, “But for a lot of children with autism, these personal grooming rituals can be a horribly uncomfortable experience, causing them to panic.

"I had no idea what a nightmare it would be eight months later when I took him for his second haircut." (Might we mention this writer is a former war correspondent?)

Posted by On Parenting from The Washington Post on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lisa Goring, executive vice president of programs and services for Autism Speaks told The Washington Post, “Some people with autism, the sound of scissors cutting their hair bothers them. Or the buzzers used. Also it’s a new experience that is a little odd. You have this piece of yourself that you’re going to cut and you see it fall on the floor. We talk about preparing the person with autism to let them know that it’s going to happen. For many it needs to be done in very small steps.”

Spinner continued her post by sharing about a viral Facebook post where a Wales barber cut the hair of a young boy with autism on the floor while the boy played a video game to make him feel comfortable.

Really want to thank Jamie Lewis Denine Davies to allow me to post this on my wall, the extremes you need to achieve...

Posted by James Williams on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Read more of Spinner’s story at The Washington Post here

Autism Speaks has partnered with Snip-its and Melmark New England to develop a haircutting training guide to provide information to families and hair professionals as to how to make the haircutting experience more positive for children with autism. You can read more about the guide here.

Visit our Resource Guide here to find local hair salons in your area that specialize in providing haircuts to individuals with autism and other disabilities.