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!!