Hair curling in children can start as a coping mechanism for stress or fatigue during childhood years. Since it is difficult to express complicated emotions or control emotions when you are a child, sometimes the body takes over and creates a physical coping mechanism.
Is hair curling a symptom of autism?
Hair curling is a form of stimulation, or self-stimulation. Other examples of stimulation include:
- biting the nails
- awkward finger movements
- shaking the feet
Stimulation is not always about autism, but some stimulating behaviors may be associated with a diagnosis of autism. Repetitive behaviors associated with autism often include:
- clapping hands or moving fingers
- walking on tiptoe
In cases where a child has been diagnosed with autism, hair curling can become a disturbing behavior that needs to be addressed. But the rotation of the hair is not enough to suggest that the child should be evaluated for autism.
When to visit a doctor? If you are noticing that hair curling is adversely affecting your baby's health, you should seek medical advice. If your child is experiencing hair loss from this habit, you should seek help. A GP may be able to refer you to a mental health professional.
Burimi: WebMD, Healthline, Autism Speaks