Already a warrior
One of my beautiful girls is off for her first ever haircut with an actual stylist in this moment, with her Dad.
She's older than the average age of her peers for getting their first cut with a professional, and that's okay.
It's normal for many autistic families to learn new skills to support themselves and their families as a result of support needs.
I've always cut her hair myself.
It's a skill I already had a little bit because I was tired of the shock that came with my hair looking different when I'd get it cut, so I taught myself to cut it at home.
But today our local community centre is offering haircuts to autistic children for a gold coin donation with a wonderful hairdresser who has put her hand up to help.
My girl is so courageous.
She is mostly non speaking and so we have packed her communication device, though her anxiety sometimes prevents her from using it in new environments and new situations where her overactive little amygdala tells her she isn't safe.
If she walks back through that door in ten minutes without her hair cut, we will celebrate.
We'll celebrate the strength, the determination and the bravery it took for her to get out that door.
The exhaustion it takes just to try is very real.
She is already a warrior (that label belongs with our autistic children very much) every single day.
If she comes home with a new hairstyle, we will support her to accept and adapt to the change.
She chose the cut with us, and pointed out what she would like.
But hair changes can be difficult for us autistic people to process, as any change can, even when we want it.
Our brain takes time to recognise change and tends to go into overdrive and panic, telling us that "NO! This is NOT OKAY!" which means we go back and forth between liking a new style and hating it.
Sending love and pride to my girl.
Image: Blessed Freya (Not my child).
**She did it. Amazing girl.**