I found a coping technique that reduces this daily struggle.
Natalie hates brushing her hair. Lots of kids do, right? But most kids don’t have Sensory Processing Disorder, making them extra-sensitive to the feeling of the brush’s bristles and the tugs. And not all kids have ADHD, making holding still long enough to do the dirty deed into a challenge in itself. Even fewer kids rock back and forth to fall asleep, creating super-sized knots. No wonder my poor girl cringes and screams!
We keep Nat’s hair short to lessen the torture. We use lots of conditioner when we wash, and spray with anti-tangle spray before brushing (creating an additional sensory challenge). Sometimes Nat will do the brushing herself, ripping through the tangles in take-no-prisoners fashion, then slams the brush down and declares herself “DONE,” whether I agree with her assessment or not.
A couple days ago I spritzed a few times, then wielded the brush. Nat held still, didn’t pull away, didn’t make a sound.
“That was easy!” I said, as I finished.
Nat looked up, surprised. “You’re done?”
As I brushed, Nat was focused on popping the bubbles in a sheet of bubble wrap.
“Can I do this again tomorrow?”
Now, when it’s time for this daily chore, Nat asks for the bubble wrap.
This may be one of those coping tips that works for a few weeks and then loses its appeal, but I plan to milk it for as long as it reduces this daily struggle for my sweet, sensitive girl.
Does your child with ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorder hate haircare? How do you help?