Haircut PROGRESS!!

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I honestly never pictured actually getting to this point. If you have a kiddo who REALLY struggles with haircuts and/or other sensory processing difficulties, slow and steady changes can make all the difference. We’ve been working on our haircutting program with very specific steps for over a year now.

We created a program within his ABA therapy that included steps performed by different therapists and us across different locations EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The first step was him allowing the clippers to be in the SAME ROOM as him. This took time to work through, as he would scream and attempt to flee when he saw them.

Next step- allowing the clippers to be PLUGGED IN while in the room with him. You can bet he noticed the difference!

At this point in the process I seriously wondered if we would EVER get to a point where we were actually CUTTING hair!!

Many, MANY steps and progress/regression followed. Slow, steady and consistent steps made all the difference. Trust the process.

Now, he sits down and puts the cape on when it’s time for a haircut. No screaming, no covering his ears (we started with headphones and have grown past the need for those) and barely any flinching or squirming.

Where we struggled:

The incentive has to be enough and what it is will likely change. He’s smart and when he would decide he didn’t feel like working on it- we had to up our incentive game!! (You guys- this doesn’t have to be HUGE. For the haircut above 👆🏻 he really wanted green beans. Find what works for your kiddo at the time!)

Only do a little bit each day- don’t get excited and push too far.

Trust me- they’ll remember next time!! Keeping each session brief will make them more willing the next time.

Oh yeah, and DON’T GIVE UP!!

Expectations

Wilson and name at OT.JPEG

Apparently this kid knows how to WRITE HIS NAME! I say “apparently” because I had no idea he could do that and actually had convinced myself that he wouldn’t be able to for quite a while.

To be honest, I really haven’t expected him to do things (emotionally, socially or academically) anywhere near other children his age.

Developmental disabilities can make it very hard to gauge what to expect from your child. With Wilson’s communication difficulties, it’s nearly impossible to test or evaluate all that he knows. We leave almost ALL of these types of appointments knowing the evaluators didn’t even get a glimpse of all that is Wilson.

Sometimes we get so focused on all of the things he CANNOT do and how to help him overcome his challenges, that we risk missing out on all of the amazing ABILITIES he has to be celebrated NOW.

This little guy is constantly reminding me to STOP underestimating him!

I told our OT that Wilson had written his name at ABA therapy last week after being shown it written out and prompted once. Everyone there was surprised he had done it and I assumed it was a single fluke incident. He has an amazing memory and has always been great at imitation, but he has struggled learning which letters are which, so I figured he somehow had memorized the image he saw and could immediately draw it (still amazing!)

Wilson writing name ABA.jpeg

First time: His therapist wrote the bottom version and then folded the paper so he couldn’t see it while attempting it himself.

So, while it was still SO impressive that he wrote his name by memorizing the image of it, I assumed it wouldn’t happen again until he learned each letter individually and even then it would take time for him to learn the exact sequence that makes up his name.

Our OT wrote “WILSON” on the board and asked him to write his name on a separate board. He NEVER glanced up at the example she had offered, and wrote “Wilson” on his board. Lowercase. He knows how to write his name!!!

So here that amazing memory and imitation is serving him well to work on writing and letters.

I cannot wait to learn more as we explore together and help our little guy find his passions and show his brilliance. And I most certainly will stop underestimating him!

Wilson and Name 2.JPEG