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View Full Version : Why ?? A continuation of "pet Me"



blondecat
August 25th, 2008, 08:40 AM
I am Curious why Autistic Children love long hair ?

Today my hair was down, I was at Macca's [The big yellow M] And this child just would NOT leave my hair alone, She was full on yanking it, and then running off, despite her family trying to get her to do otherwise.

I wasn't worried [till I saw her pick her nose, then I wondered what might be in my hair :(, but, still I talked to this little girl, maybe aged 10, hard to tell and tried to make friends with her.

Her family seemed releaved I wasn't cross.

To stop girl yanking on my hair I tucked it into my shirt, then girl lost all interest in me.

Why ?

young&reckless
August 25th, 2008, 10:49 AM
It was proboly something she recognized from somewhere else. Like a princess or a cartoon. When you took away the symbol she knew (by tucking away your hair) you broke the connection that made her comfortable with you and so she went away.

Silver & Gold
August 25th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Our daughter has autism as part of her condition. What she finds interesting are things that "don't belong" on a person. For instance, if you are wearing something removable such as eyeglasses or a hat, she is likely to want to remove them. Clothing she seems to accept as part of what belongs on you.

She like to play with putting glasses and hats on herself but she will never wear one even when the sun is very bright and sunglasses or a visor would help. Instead she just places her hands in front of her eyes to block out the sun.

She also hates wearing bandages. So if she has gotten a shot at the doctor's office or has an injury, good luck keeping a bandage on her. She will fuss and cry and pull at it until she gets it removed. She also doesn't like wearing the fun little stickers they give you for 'good behavior' at the doctor's office.

I imagine the little girl you met lost interest in you the minute your 'hair went away' because your hair was what attracted her in the first place. Many people with autism have a bit of trouble with social skills and relating to other people in the same manner that the rest of the population does.

burns_erin
August 25th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Plus, alot of autistic children have texture issues. Working in a University Speech and Hearing Clinic I come in contact with alot of austic kids and most of them like to touch things. Quite a few of the ones I have met have extensive "training" in what is appropriate touching and what is not. However, hair is typically not covered because they just do not tend to think about it.

blondecat
August 25th, 2008, 07:05 PM
Thank You All :)

I can understand the facination, not knowing how to relate to the world and the textures thingy, good explaination.


'What she finds interesting are things that "don't belong" on a person. '

Silver and Gold, does this mean she doesn't think long hair belongs on a 44 yr old LOL <g>

Silver & Gold
August 25th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Thank You All :)

I can understand the facination, not knowing how to relate to the world and the textures thingy, good explaination.


'What she finds interesting are things that "don't belong" on a person. '

Silver and Gold, does this mean she doesn't think long hair belongs on a 44 yr old LOL <g>

LOL. I do know that my daughter doesn't believe in hair toys of any kind. She won't wear a barrette, an elastic - nothing. And when I'm wearing a hairstick she will quite often pull it out, watch my hair fall down and giggle her butt off.

Patrycja
August 25th, 2008, 08:29 PM
My son has Down Syndrome and he has that same love for hair.He met my moms neighbor the other day who has knee length hair and he was in love.We had to literally pull him away from her because he wrapper her hair around his shoulders and got in her lap.He's 8,mind you,so he's not small ;) It is a texture issue,at least for him.He's always been like that.
You did a great thing by lettting her touch your hair and then putting it away.It can backfire sometimes,though,so be warned.They might see where you put your hair and do everything they can to get it back.Once again,I've had to pull my son off of people because of that.

GlennaGirl
August 25th, 2008, 09:12 PM
I am Curious why Autistic Children love long hair ?

Today my hair was down, I was at Macca's [The big yellow M] And this child just would NOT leave my hair alone, She was full on yanking it, and then running off, despite her family trying to get her to do otherwise.

I wasn't worried [till I saw her pick her nose, then I wondered what might be in my hair :(, but, still I talked to this little girl, maybe aged 10, hard to tell and tried to make friends with her.

Her family seemed releaved I wasn't cross.

To stop girl yanking on my hair I tucked it into my shirt, then girl lost all interest in me.

Why ?


My five-year-old classically autistic son has been mangling my hair since the day he was born. He will NOT leave my hair alone. In the past year it's gotten much better, but he in the meantime taught my NT youngest son how much fun it is. :mad: It's terrible because "That hurts!" and "I'll put you down if you don't stop!" just don't work the same way on an autistic child.

In a way it's sweet, because obviously the feel gives them comfort, and they grab my husband's No. 2 shaved head just as much as they maul mine. In another way, it really, really hurts...and it roughs up my hair.

But I wanted to say (without having read the replies yet) that yes, I do indeed see this in my autistic son and it's to an incredible extent (I didn't used to be able to pick him up or even bend down near him without him grabbing chunks of my hair and twisting them).

For the record, my kids will twist their own hair when mine isn't handy.

ETA: Oh, I'm sorry...the "why"! Well, I've since read the replies and I agree that it can be a texture issue. But there's something about hair specifically that autistic children seem to love. For my kids, it's the movement within their fingers that seems to make them happy...the way they can twist it, let it fall, twist it, let it fall. I don't know...such an interesting question.

littlemiss
August 25th, 2008, 10:50 PM
I work with autistic children and find this lots most of the time its a sensory thing for them, meaning they like the way it feels or smells, it sends lets say warm and fuzzies to the brain its a bit like stimulation for them. :smile:

LifeisAdventure
August 26th, 2008, 02:47 AM
I worked as a therapist with autistic kids for quite a while (may be getting hired as one again soon... I hope I'm prepared!!) and my long hair was also an object of fascination for many of my clients. From my experience and my studies I'd say this is mostly a means of satisfying a sensory need and/or a method of problem-solving/reasoning about how physical manipulation affects cognition and perception. I.e. the child learns that when they touch your hair, move their fingers in certain ways to change the light, etc. it makes them feel happy, more calm, more excited, etc. Cause-and-effect exploration, essentially. :) Anyways! Hope that helped!

MeMyselfandI
August 26th, 2008, 06:52 AM
Blondecat,

I am sure these parents were very appreciative of your understanding or at least your patience with their child.

Even mildly autistic children who which may seem normal until you notice their behaviour (social behaviour or maturity is not their) may be very tactile. Just the feel of it could be good. I find it concerning when a teenager covers himself in sand and totally loses himself in it. Some autistic children also have impulse control issues, and may touch without being able to stop to think first. Some days are better then other days.