All Things Sensory by Harkla

#169 - Sensory Strategies for Kids Who Struggle With Haircuts

September 08, 2021 Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L Episode 169
All Things Sensory by Harkla
#169 - Sensory Strategies for Kids Who Struggle With Haircuts
Show Notes

Haircuts can be challenging, even for those who don’t have sensory processing challenges! 

From prepping kiddos for the overstimulating environment of the salon to taking along some preferred sensory activities to help them override the noxious stimuli of light touch or vibrating clippers, there are so many ways to make this process a bit easier, but one of the biggest takeaways from this episode is teaching parents, caregivers, and therapists how to communicate with and support the child through what can be a very scary experience. 

While a lot of it has to do with these great sensory activities and strategies, a lot of it has to do with your emotions throughout this process too. 

Tune in today to learn more about the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, therapeutic listening programs, and the benefits of Harkla’s weighted products, plus a whole lot more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • We start with why kids struggle with haircuts, starting with not knowing what to expect.
  • Why salons can be overstimulating environments.
  • Tactile processing challenges and the real fear and pain that can come with them.
  • How tools like the clippers can be difficult for kiddos with auditory processing challenges.
  • The importance of having empathy; put yourself in your child’s shoes.
  • The chemical reaction that happens during a fight, flight, or freeze response.
  • How you can prepare your kiddo for these challenging sensory experiences; tour the salon beforehand or practice at home.
  • Learn how the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol can help with tactile processing challenges.
  • The benefits of noise cancelling headphones, therapeutic listening programs, and metronome activities for auditory processing.
  • Some strategies that can form part of a ‘haircut sensory diet’, like a vibrating hairbrush.
  • Some preferred sensory activities that help override the noxious stimuli of the haircut.
  • Think about creating a special hair-cutting sensory box that your kiddo can pick from.
  • Remember, it’s always an option to do haircuts at home!
  • The importance of staying positive and being a calm source of energy for your child.

Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.

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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Harkla Freebies - Scroll to the bottom to find a Sensory Diet for Haircuts
The Listening Program
Auditory Processing Episode
Harkla Weighted Products
All Things Sensory on Instagram
All Things Sensory on Facebook