Pam Dewey • June 23, 2020
Hair care is a challenge for individuals with autism and sensory processing difficulties. Combing, washing and cutting hair can feel extremely unpleasant to people who perceive their senses differently. The scent of shampoo, the feeling of the brush on their scalp or the sound of the electric hair clippers can trigger sensory overload.
As families stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, it may be some time before your family can visit Kids’ Hair. For parents of children with sensory difficulties, maintaining your child’s hair at home may be hard. Previously, Kids’ Hair and Fraser worked together to ensure kids with sensory needs had a positive haircutting experience, so we’ve teamed up again to provide some tips to help keep your child’s hair healthy at home.
Prepare for your next haircut
Before starting these hair care activities, do some deep pressure sensory activities with your child, so he or she feels calm and more receptive to the challenging sensory stimuli. Some examples of deep pressure activities are wrapping your child up in a blanket like a burrito, doing yoga poses like downward dog or crawling and rolling across pillows or couch cushions on the floor. These activities provide proprioceptive input, which can decrease sensory defensiveness. For more proprioceptive activity ideas or hair care strategies, reach out to an occupational therapist.