Autism and haircuts

There comes a time when a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. Whether or not your child likes what that thing is, you just have to take the screams, and the tantrums while you try your best to avoid flying limbs, heads or ear splitting screams.

So what did I do to Mini Man today? I took him to a store in Park Ridge, where they have what resembles a fairground attraction; with an airplane, fire truck, police car and taxi for children to "ride in". I suppose this visit caused some juxtaposition in his mind, as I was running my fingers through his long surf dude hair while saying: "Going to have hair cut."

Yes. At the age of six, I have long learned that autism and haircuts are not among the experiences designed for the weak hearted, or those without a backbone. Mini Man hates having his haircut.

There's something that bothers him about sharp implements being near, or around, his ears and neck. As soon as it registered with him exactly what the intention of today's trip was, it was all guns blazing full on war.

Unfortunately; we weren't able to get him to sit for any kind of style, so the clippers were resorted to. He seemed quite accepting of this, and put his head forward for them to be used. Then he changed his mind, and we had a little guy with an inverted Mohican kind of style. Uh oh.

No way were we able to leave looking like that. He looked 1000 percent worse. This is the point where I became the most mean person in his life. I sat down (in a normal hairdressing chair - my butt is too big for those themed seats these days), and pulled him onto my lap.

Oh, did he scream?! He flailed. He head butted me. He ground his fully shoed feet into my flip flop clad ones. I swore silently through my gritted teeth, grumpy faced expression that usually only my husband understands. On this occasion, I think the hairdresser understood it too.

Then - bar three strands sticking out by his ear - we were done. Even though I was wearing a cape, while the fusspot wasn't - I somehow ended up covered with most of his hair. What remained on his head made him look like a thug, and not the funky style I had been hoping for.

So: not the same pleasant experience that I have when I visit a salon without the Miniatures. Of course, I have waited until after the fact to confer with my good friend Google for any tips relating to haircuts and autism. Ellen Notbohm has some great suggestions, and some of them are so simple and obvious, I can't believe they didn't occur to me before.

Maybe next time I will try these out first. Or let him grow the beautiful mane he so clearly desires.

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