Yesterday, he played at a birthday party with other kids barefooted and in a bathing suit without a shirt, getting wet and walking and falling down on grass. Last summer, he had to wear swimming shoes to walk on grass. And he would not touch it. Yesterday, he did not have any issues walking barefooted on it. He did not have problems playing with a bunch of 6 and 7 year old kids (rough kids - Vanessa could not play for more than a few minutes without getting hurt). He was not overwhelmed about the number of kids and the types of games they were playing.
But I test the level of tolerance based on his reaction when getting his hair cut.
Haircut Problems History
I have been posting about his improvements when getting a haircut. But today was by far the best ever!. I feel that he mastered it. Here is a recap.
When he was a baby (7 months), I cut his hair real short (Old Wives' Tale that if the head was shaved early in life, their hair would grow thicker and fuller). I used a hair clipper and shaved it all off. He had no signs of sensitivity problems. Actually, he was smiling.
When he was 18 months, I took him to Cartoon Cuts and they cut his hair and put it in a small bag labeled "my first haircut". He did not have any problems.
His hair was so fine, that I decided to just trim it once in a while instead of taking him to the hair cuttery. He was very good. I would sit him in his high chair, put a towel around his neck and he would be watching a cartoon while I cut his hair. No problems.
During the summer 2004 (he was 2y 4m), Daddy and I decided to take him back to Cartoon Cuts to get his hair cut really short because he sweats a lot and I could not get it really short with just scissors. I sat him on my lap and although he was a bit uncomfortable with the clipper, it wasn't bad.
Jonathan's sensitivity to sound, touch, light, and different tastes became exponentially out of control about a month after his second flu shot when he was 27 months.
We went back to get a haircut when he was 28 months, before we went to the beach, and the lady could not use the clipper, and had to use baby scissors because Jonathan would scream if she used bigger scissors. It was a horrible experience and I decided to cut his hair from then on. I would trim it in the bathtub. He was diagnosed when he turned 30 months.
We decided to try the hair cuttery again 2 years ago, when we turned 4. His touch sensitivity had diminished tremendously by addressing yeast. So we decided to give it a try. It was a horrible experience. It was so bad, that the lady even cut him a bit on his back neck because he could not stop moving and screaming. From that day, every time we went, we told them no clipper.
After we were done with the first 40 HBOT dives (summer 2007), we took him and he was able to tolerate it better. Just like the dentist, if he knew ahead of time what to expect by touching the device, he could control himself a bit. However, he had to hold my hand and would move uncontrollably. The neck clipper was always problematic.
The last time we went (I logged it in this blog), he was much better. The clipper would give him a tickle sensation in his back and that made him move, but at least he would not cry or scream or move uncontrollably.
However, today he totally mastered getting a haircut. The video is a bit long, and unless you have a child with autism with sensory integration problems and have lived the nightmare of getting him/her a haircut, this looks like a normal behavior. I wish I had taped him in the past, but it was so overwhelming to deal with this, that I never video taped his horrible behavior. So to us, this is actually a huge milestone in our recovery journey.