A friend of mine who has a teenage son with Aspergers Syndrome told me that she was having a difficult time getting her son to brush his hair and he practically refused to wash it. So I asked her to tell me more about what was going on. She said that when his hair needs to be combed she tells him to go brush it. So he does. He goes to the bathroom and vigorously scrubs his head back and forth all over his head with the hairbrush. He then emerges from the bathroom with his hair looking like a crazy clown wig and worse than it was before.
When he did wash his hair, he would often forget to use shampoo and he might not even get all of his hair wet. I spoke with her son and asked him why he brushed his hair the way he did. He told me he liked the way it felt on his head. So I thought, “ What if we could give him the same sensation that he gets from the hair brush when he washes his hair?” I asked his mother to purchase a small plastic brush that you put in the palm of your hand to scrub his hair when he washed it. He LOVED it. He could put shampoo on his hair and scrub and scrub. So now washing his hair feels good and he enjoys doing it more often.
His mom actually purchased more than one brush and he uses the other one any time he needs to. He then uses his mirror skills and combs his hair neatly using the strategies that are described in the post “Man in the Mirror”.
Will this work forever? Who knows? But it is working right now. He said to me, “Ms. Pam the idea about the brush was the best idea ever!” By using his sensory needs and working with them rather than against them we found a solution to a problem. So when you are facing an issue try to really investigate all types of solutions. Ask questions, be creative, and keep trying.