Cuttin’ up

Cuttin’ up

There are quite a few things I am not able to experience in the world like other parents with “normal” kids.

Getting Hayden’s hair cut is an obstacle that I wish on no person. It’s cardio and a part time job all in one and to top it off, I get charged more because of it. When I say more I mean instead of being charged $10, like every other child was charged for a hair cut, you get a surprise total of $30-$40 because of his special needs.

I am not tripping am I??

*Whew*

He has to be held down while he is getting his hair cut or it will be bad. How do I hold him down you ask? I have him sit on my lap and have my arms wrapped around his torso (including his arms) and my legs wrapped around his. Did I mention he was four years old when all of this happened?

Like I said earlier, a cardio workout, but that should still be no reason to charge almost $50 for a haircut for a child when I am doing the hard part!

So I ask again, am I tripping?

I will say, one of the places we went to was considerate of Hayden’s needs. The owner made sure that there was limited people in the shop. He also made sure to have the lights dim and all music low, just in case there was a sensory overload. That, I appreciated.

However, after being referred to this particular location we experienced very unprofessional-like behavior from one of the other employees there. Not only did this person get a kick out of Hayden fighting because of the sound and vibration of the clippers, but they were laughing pretty loudly. Although the owner apologized for their actions, it was still unacceptable.

Needless to say, we never went there again and I have spread the word to other autism parents in the area about how unprofessional and inconsiderate some of the workers were at this particular location. The owner was nice, but he should have done a better job educating his staff on what autism was. It completely destroyed the image I had for him and that place.

To avoid the unnecessary price spikes and snickering from ignorant bystanders, I decided to start cutting his hair on my own. It saved me a lot of money for months and Hayden was more comfortable around me. Yes, he did try and fight me off or run a away (because of his sensory processing disorder), but I was still able to get the job done.

Ask me if I am able to cut his hair still….

Hayden is the strongest little person I have ever met in my life and the crazy thing about it is he doesn’t realize he has that type of strength. I have had teachers and other professionals tell me he is extremely strong, so when he unleashes his “super power” because the sound of the clippers hurts him, I stopped.

He is only seven years old and he is only going to get stronger. We will have to figure something out about his type 4C hair because cutting, unfortunately, is no longer an option for both of our safety. Maybe when he gets older he will be more accepting of the clippers, but right now it is a no-go.

So for now, we are embarking on a new journey and it is called, ‘Mastering the Crown.’ His little afro will be fun to explore.

Kids vs Shopping..

Kids vs Shopping..

One word: NOPE!

Once you have kids, you no longer have the ability to browse. That new ability turns into anxiety, which turns into a panic attack.

Let’s reminisce on the past for a second. Remember when you could spend half the day walking through a store, reading books, and smelling each fragrance of a candle available? Do you remember that? Can you still do that when you’re shopping with kids? How about kids with special needs? How are my trips different than any other parent with kids?

Before we get into that, do you know the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum? Check this out before you continue.

-Story Time-

Imagine pulling into the parking lot of your favorite grocery store, thinking the day couldn’t get any better. The entrance you normally go in doesn’t have parking spaces with feasible walking distance with kids. You find a close enough park, to where you don’t have to walk too far with the kids, at a different entrance.

Let me remind you that this is a wonderful day….

You get the kids out of the car and begin to walk towards the door. As you become closer, you notice the attitude of one of your kids is shifting in the wrong direction. You start to walk slower to the door, but not to slow.

When you finally get to the entrance, one of your kiddos is having a full blown meltdown/tantrum-at the entrance. The doors can no longer close because your kid is lying on the ground at the entrance and people are starting to stare.

Not only is he lying on the ground in the fetal position, but he is screaming at the top of his lungs. This behavior only triggers your second kid to begin to cry. Now, you have two crying kids at the entrance of this grocery store. Clearly, one is feeding off of the other…..

What do you do? Why is this happening? How do you keep others from staring and whispering about how you needing to have better control of your kids? (Clearly it’s not a whisper if you can hear them saying this.) How do you keep control over YOURSELF from crying or punching someone in the throat for making a comment on something they don’t know anything about?

Individuals with autism do not like change. Once they experience something in a certain way, they expect it to be that way every time they encounter it and going to the grocery store was no different.

Hayden was used to going through a certain entrance of that grocery store and when we were unable to, he panicked. The entrances may be the same to us, but to him it was a different experience that messed with his overall senses. With him having a sensory processing disorder, I can see how he would react as such.

So, how did I get him up? Eventually, employees came to see what was going on and after explaining to them about autism they understood and kind of steered traffic until Hayden got himself together, which wasn’t too long afterwards. I was always told to have snacks with me when we go out, which I did but neither kid wanted them at that time. Go figure…

How do I keep my emotions together? I take deep breaths, laugh it off or look as mean as possible until I get home and then I cry. This is one of the many experiences that many cannot possible understand unless you are physically in my shoes. . .