Nail Cutting Refusal
Do you have any suggestions for helping an 8 yr old to let me (he refuses to do it himself or try) cut his nails, or any activity to do first? Or, do I give up and let them just grow until they break? I am at my wits end with this! He completely refuses and I cannot force him.
Help?The SPD Help Line Answers
My first questions for you, before I answer, are:
Has your son been officially diagnosed with SPD? Tactile Defensiveness? If he has, is he in OT? Have you done The Wilbarger Brushing Protocol with him?
If you think this is an isolated defensiveness issue, can you make sure he does not show other significant signs of tactile defensiveness
? If he does show other signs, the first step would be to get him an OT evaluation for SPD. You can find out more about this in the following 2 articles: Sensory Integrative OT... What You Need To Know Before Starting The Step-By-Step Guide For SPD Parents
For the sake of answering your question, I will assume he does indeed have tactile defensiveness (hypersensitivity to touch). Besides doing the brushing protocol (only if taught to you and monitored by an OT), there are several things you can try.Here's what I suggest:
1. Use baby nail clippers. They are easier on the nails and are better at not cutting too far down. They are much more comfortable. (My daughter still uses them at 12!)
2. Cut nails fresh out of the shower or bath, when they are softest. Or soak hands first with some good calming aromatherapy oils (lavender or vanilla?) and water.
3. Do some deep pressure, proprioceptive, and/or heavy work activities
prior to cutting his nails, to help decrease overall sensitivities.
4. Use a massager/vibration on his hands prior to cutting his nails.
5. If he is a sound sleeper, cut a few every night while he sleeps.