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Head Lice Treatment and Children with Sensory Issues

Little boy looking at leaves and twigs and berries on a tree

Updated on February 19, 2019

It is challenging enough for parents and families when a child has head lice but when your child has special needs such as Aspbergers, Autism, SPD or other sensory issues, this adds another level of challenge. We at LiceDoctors have treated many children with special needs and we understand this requires extra sensitivity. In all homes we recognize the importance of parents as advocates for their children and this is especially important when a child might have stronger than average reactions to new situations. We partner with parents to optimize the treatment outcome by listening to their input regarding the environment and the particulars for the sensitivities of their child and how they might respond. Below are some of the ways in which we approach our treatment of children who need a little extra TLC:
  • When preparing your child for our visit, you can help out by spraying a detangler into your child’s hair. The fewer knots and tangles that we encounter, the less pulling and tugging there will be.
  • When your technician arrives, she will gently explain to the child what she will be doing. We find it helpful if we can do a brief demonstration on mom or sibling so the child has a visual of what will happen.
  • It can also be helpful, depending on the child’s age, to show him the tools that we will be using and allow him to touch and feel the comb and the oil. This will help him to be more comfortable with the process.
  • If a child finds comfort holding a special toy or soother, we say finehand holding a green fidget spinner. We just have to be sure that the item is protected from the oil that we apply to the hair. Depending on the age of the child, it may be beneficial for your tech to “treat” a doll first. She also may allow your child to help with the “treatment” to help her to buy into the process. 
  • We want the environment to be as quiet and calm as possible. Ideally, siblings will be out of the room while we are treating this child, although that is not required.
  • If the child has a short attention span i.e. patience level for the treatment, we will take frequent breaks. At those points, your tech may bring in a sibling and work on that child and alternate between the two.
  • Providing a distraction for the child is helpful. If the child likes to play a video game or watch a tv show, that is fine. Sometimes it helps to have a parent read a story. This helps the time pass more quickly for the child and helps to move her attention away from the treatment. hands holding a gaming controller
  • Children with sensory integration challenges may be particularly sensitive to fragrances. Your tech will only use an unscented, viscous oil on the head so we do not encounter resistance. 
  • If the child is old enough and interested in the process, your tech will show him the bugs and nits that she is pulling out. She will let him touch them and answer any questions he has. 
  • Because LiceDoctors makes house calls, your child will be in his or her familiar environment. This is well suited to children who are less comfortable in salon or clinic settings.

Treating a child with sensory issues may call for a bit more patience but respecting the child’s sensitivity and needs results in safe and effective lice treatment. Call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537 and your technician will treat your entire family with dignity and respect. We are available day or night in your area. All treatments are guaranteed. 

child holding their head in apparent distress