Haircut Tips for Autistic Children

Apr 09, 19 Haircut Tips for Autistic Children

Haircut Tips for Autistic Children

As many of us know taking our children for a hair cut can be difficult. Between the fidgeting and the normal short patience of many young children it can take some planning and sometimes some bribing (lol) to make it through a session. Take a look at this touching article about how to help sensitive autistic children, and their parents, cope with the stress of getting a hair cut.


I can think of a lot of struggles that Cooper and I have had over the years. He is autistic and nonverbal. That alone is hard. But to this day, one of his biggest struggles was and is getting a haircut. When Cooper was two we visited a local Cost Cutters for his first trim. We put it off forever because we knew it was going to be awful. Cooper hated to sit and be touched by strangers. So, we went very early in the morning and hoped for the best. The experience was awful. So awful in fact that a patron of the store alerted a manager of a child screaming. After the stylist started crying I said never again.

That was his first and last hair cut at a public place. We let his hair grow long and tried to recover from the trauma of the hair cut. I still laugh at all of the people that gave us a hard time about letting our boy have long hair. I always wonder why people care so much.

When he was three it was time for another hair cut. I started watching videos on YouTube on how to cut kid’s hair with a clippers. I thought, I could do that! I purchased clippers from Walmart. It was cheap and easy to use.

I have been cutting Cooper’s hair for close to four years now

I can cut his hair from start to finish in just under five minutes. I buzz as much as I can with the 1/2 inch attachment (the orange one) and then finish with a scissors. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not the sound or vibration that bothers him…it’s more the hair on his neck and having to sit still. I offer a cape or towel for his neck before every cut but he refuses to wear one. So, we power through as fast as we can.

As Cooper is getting older and I’m getting more experienced, the cuts get better each time. We start preparing him about a week in advance about the cut. The day of we talk about it more frequently. Eventually, he will grab the clippers himself and bring them to me. I think he gets tired of me talking about it!

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External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop



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