Slow and Steady Takes the Race

I recently posted an item on Autism TN’s Facebook page about an organization offering low-cost, sensory-friendly haircuts to our kids. My initial reaction was “where was this when my (now adult) son was a youngster?”

Ah yes, haircuts. There is something about getting your hair trimmed (or washed, styled, combed, etc.) that sends even the most mellow of children on the spectrum into a meltdown the likes of which are comparable only to the fight or flight reaction you get when trying to cut a cat’s nails. Watch out or you’ll get scratched!

After several tries at different establishments, which reduced both the hairdresser and me into blubbering masses of humanity, I finally decided I would attempt to do the haircutting duties myself. I found that if I had patience, fortitude, and didn’t look too closely at the results, it was doable. We usually started out at the dinner table while he was eating, so I could trim the back. Then we moved into the bathroom during bath time while he was playing in the tub. At times it took several days and multiple tries to complete the job, which meant that some days he would have half of his head done, looking like a walking before and after picture.

I admit this was a bit hard for me, as I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I have a hard time not finishing something I’ve started or only doing an “okay” job on a project. So working piecemeal like this was definitely not my usual style. It was a good lesson, though, because I gained a new level of insight into my son and how we would have to proceed with many projects in the future…slow and steady.

My dad once visited and asked me why I didn’t require Josh to stay and eat at the dinner table with the rest of us. Since I was just happy that he WAS eating and trying some new foods, my answer was easy. “Dad, it just isn’t at the top of my priority list yet.” We’ve made that slow and steady progress over the years, and I think Dad would be proud to know that his grandson not only eats at the table now, he can even sit through an entire meal at a restaurant!

P.S. Josh also makes his own hair appointments now on a regular basis without my having to remind him, and he actually enjoys the experience!


Carolyn Shindler


    Giuseppe | February 17, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Marianna, I would not donate to them. My peaosnrl opinion is that they do not provide support for the families currently effect nor do they put research into the current beliefs that the environment is causing the epidemic. they put their allegiance with big pharma and the idea it is genetic. there has never been a genetic epidemic. it is impossible. I prefer to help groups like Generation Rescue, National Autism Association, TACA and ARI. All of whom actually help families now. AS spends a lot of money on Awareness, but not on actually helping people. It isn’t a group I can support.

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