for Parents of Hair Pulling Children and Teens:
Dealing With Administrators, Teachers And Coaches
by Abby Leora Rohrer
While some school officials are familiar
with trichotillomania because they have already encountered it in some
form, many more are not. You can help to educate them and
help them to join your family’s team so as to provide your child with
the best support system possible.
I’ve written a draft letter for you to use
to speak from or to send to your child’s teacher or coach.
I recommend that you don’t tell your child
that you are “smoothing” things over for her, which might give her the
impression that you are enabling her behavior. She needs to
deal with the social ramifications of hair pulling with her peers and
the world in general. However, shame from authorities in her
environment, in my opinion, would be damaging to her.
My child has a sensitive issue which is difficult to deal with in a public environment like school.
has a problem that you may never have heard of, but is very important
for you to know and understand as an educator of young people. It is
called Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling). This means that she
pulls hair from her __________(head, eyebrows, eyelashes--- fill in
this area with whatever is appropriate).
5% of the population (or up to 15 million Americans) suffers, usually
in silence, because of the social stigmas associated with behavioral
problems. The cause(s) of compulsive hair pulling is not well known and
there are many different theories about its origins.
be sensitive to her situation. Please do not point out to her when she
is pulling her hair. Simply ignore the behavior or call me directly if
you feel that it interferes with schoolwork or other activities.
you must address it, please do so “matter-of-factly” in the same way
you as nail-biting or a similar habit. Please don’t publicly discuss it
in a harsh way. Our family is working on finding a solution to help her
and you can assist by helping her to feel as good as possible about
herself at this time.
If you are interested in learning more about trichotillomania, please visit www.pullfreeatlast.com.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
(Sign your name)
Facilitated Recovery, LLC
PO Box 664
Lafayette, CO 80026
, Facilitated Recovery, LLC