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How We Came Together to Help My Son With Autism Shave During Quarantine

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Since going to the local barbershop is still not allowed where we live in Michigan, it fell upon us to figure out the best way to shave Dominic’s beard and mustache. Typically, Dominic goes to our local barbershop to get his haircut, and his barber (Vince) also takes about 30 seconds to shave the beard and mustache. This August, it will be five years that Dominic has been going to Vince. That in itself is a huge milestone as anyone with a child/adult with sensory sensitivities knows.

Anyway, earlier in the week my hubby, Lauren and I had all noticed that Dominic’s facial hair definitely needed some assistance. I mentioned to Lauren that I needed to find a “social story” about getting a shave. Before I had a chance to find one, she took it upon herself to find one and print it out, it had both an electric shaver and shaving cream/razor stories! That meant so much to me, because she didn’t have to do that, she wanted to!  I showed the social story to Dominic and said with tons of enthusiasm, “we are going to shave!” His response was a resounding “no.” I just kind of casually left the social story out on the kitchen table and more than once, I caught him taking a look at it.

Since he showed some level of interest, the hubby and I discussed it last night and decided that today would be the day!! I wasn’t sure what time the big shaving session would be. After we did a family walk (a new quarantine activity) and the frozen pizza in the oven for lunch was almost done, I heard my husband say something like, “Daddy is going to shave and then it’s going to be your turn!” My husband switches up his shaving “routine.” He either uses his dad’s electric shaver, which I am guessing is at least 50 years old or he uses shaving cream and a razor. When I rounded the corner to the bathroom, my husband was making his best effort to shave Dominic’s facial hair. It didn’t appear to be working because either Dominic has too much facial hair or the electric razor just couldn’t handle it. The noise was really starting to bother Dominic too and he put on his headphones.

When my husband went upstairs to get the shaving cream and a razor, I told Dominic what we’re going to try next. My husband put some shaving cream on Dominic’s face and he actually laughed!! The hubby also got some shaving cream on Dominic’s lips which I wiped off. It took longer with the shaving cream and razor, but Dominic handled it like a pro!!! Lauren, the hubby and I kept telling Dominic how great he looked and Lauren made the comment that it was a “group” effort to get Dominic shaved. A few hours after the shaving session, I asked Dominic what he preferred, the electric shaver or the shaving cream and razor combo. He said the shaving cream/razor combo. I was kind of surprised because Vince uses the electric razor. I asked Dominic why he preferred the shaving cream and the razor and he said it was because the electric razor is “too loud.” I don’t know if we would have had the same fabulous results if it weren’t for all of us coming together as a group to achieve the ultimate goal!

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: June 16, 2020
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