My 5 year old son has AA and his hair loss is getting to be extensive enough that we are considering shaving it all off for the time being. 

I've talked to him about how some people have hair and some people don't, and he's very good about doctors appointments and putting on various hair creams etc. 

But I haven't specifically talked to him about having AA and what it means. I'd like to discuss it all with him before we cut it right down, but am unsure of how to approach the subject. 

He is very open to suggestions usually and he hasn't been upset at all about his hair to date. 

Is there anyone who has any advice on this? thanks!

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Hi ya, I'm so sorry your son is going through this, I have suffered AA for most of my life and for last 19 years it hasn't grown back. I have 6 year old twin girls and my worst fear has come true, one of them has started getting patches and at first I didn't say anything, but as I'm about to take her to doctors I say her down and gent spoke to her about it, in some ways I think she understands more as mommy wears a wig but she took it well but it broke my heart! I fear for her as I know how cruel people can be, plus her twin doesn't suffer at all. My only advice is be honest it's hard but I think kids do prefer that xx
Hello this is a very sensitive subject ! check out my video -
http://youtu.be/L3bGZGwaFUM

very interesting idea, and best of all never worry about it sliding off during sports etc

Yes it's better that Dermatch and topic .The kid Jasper in the video has finally removed his hat while he was in school for the first time:)
Sorry to hear about your son. My daughter is 5, we found out she had alopecia when she was 3 when she started losing hair in patches in the summer. It all grew back in the winter, then this past summer she started losing it again.....within a month, she was bald. Her hair is now growing back in patches....some is not yet growing. :-( What youre doing is good. Its so hard to try an keep them up about it when you feel so sad inside. Just keep his self esteem up by explaining constantly about differences that everyone has. And there are also tons of support systems for kids with this....check out facebook. My daughter even has a pen pal her age from scotland with the same thing. Check it out...you will be surprised how many people suffer from this. Good luck!!

hey chris

i have a girl who is now 6 and a half who at the age of around four started to lose her hair aswell(it is currently all gone apart from a couple of strands.

we didnt know what to do and what to say to her,in the last two years i have come to the realisation that the more me and my partner made it an issue the more it was for her.

the crushing part was when she told me she wasnt beautiful because she had no hair,everyday i tell her shes beautiful even before she lost her hair.

before it all fell out we took her upto to see a wig place and she refused to wear it and still wouldnt want too.

she has grown affection for hats which is good for winter and summer for warmth and protection,but is happy to not wear either as even though she does get uncomfortable with having Alopecia once she knows the people she doesnt care.

sometimes i look at her and cant believe how strong she is.

i wish she had hair but because of her other health problems she has had its not the primary concern and as long as she is still happy and running around ill be happy too.

 

i guess in short let them know the world wont end and that he is still the boy you have always loved.

and just be ready for the ups and downs of bullying,which vera got in her first week of starting school two weeks after losing all her hair completl

 

I have to ask... Why didn't you tell him point blank when he was diagnosed? How did he NOT find out?  When I was diagnosed at FOUR years old I was told right away it was Alopecia, because I was scared and I wanted to know if I was actually sick with something that could hurt me. My parents didn't not tell me, there wasn't a choice. My hair all fell out. (Universalis, they mistook for AA)

Straight up tell him. Just sit him down and explain it make sure to emphasize: "Your not really sick, your disorder is NOT going to hurt you it's cosmetic"

Just... Be honest. I think it's really low when parents decide to not tell their kids they have it, few years ago I was on here and a mom acted like she was so great because she refused to tell her SEVEN YEAR OLD she had AA and her kid somehow never questioned what was making her hair fall out or why she had to wear a wig. Put on your mom pants and tell him. There's all there is to it.

well put :) honesty is the best part from my experience with my lil girl.

I do agree he should be told, absolutely. We told my daughter as soon as she was old enough to understand something was seriously going on. She actually explained it to her whole class on her own once she decided not to wear hats anymore. She also has a wig but wont wear it. He is just probably trying to muster up the courage to tell his son. As you know, it can be difficult for both parties. ...but, sooner is definitely better....this way he can learn to accept an come to terms with it and also explain if he needs to.

I have to agree just tell him the facts in a way he will understand.  Make sure he understands he is still a beautiful little man and how much he is loved.  Answer any questions with truth as best as you can.  That is all you can do, and keep it on a positive note.  Prayers for you as you tell him and prayers he learns to accept himself and love himself just the way he is.

One of the most valuable things about this place (for me, anyway) is all of the users who were diagnosed as young children who have discussed what has affected them positively and negatively from the beginning. One thing that I've read many times that has really stuck with me is that the parents' negative reaction (sadness, fear, etc) transfers directly to the child and that stays with them for years (or life)

I didn't mean to give the impression that I've been combing his hair over hoping he didn't notice for the last year. He knows his hair is falling out, he knows he has bald spots, and he knows he has alopecia and it's not a big deal. But he's 5, he doesn't care. None of his friends care. None of the children he meets care. We don't "talk about it" because I don't want him to think it's a big deal, not even worth talking about. I think it's working. Even when he was very visibly in the mirror missing half of the top of his head of hair, he didn't once say he wished he had hair or that he was concerned with it. The top has grown in now but the crown has bared. 

I think eliminating the internal stigma is the most important point of attack. I try to introduce my son to as many bald people as I can (a few of my friends and colleagues have shaved heads) so he can see it's not an abnormal physical feature. 

My talk with him went a lot easier this morning than I expected, I really don't know what I was expecting. I just reminded him that some people are able to grow hair and some people can't, and that he has alopecia which makes it hard for him to grow hair. I asked him (and his teachers) if anyone at school has ever asked him about it and no one has, but now he knows what to tell them if someone does. I think that the extreme amount of diversity in his school has helped a lot with everyone's acceptance of different looking people (for example he's never questioned why some of his friends have different skin colors) so it's perfectly acceptable for some people to just not have hair. I hope to develop a confidence in him such that he can continue to not even consider his hair or lackthereof in social situations. 

thank you all for your input! 

My daughter has had it since she was 3, but lost all her hair when she was 5 1/2 years old. This is a link to the video http://youtu.be/Vf5TxAlMyLM that my husband edited to include her in for us to share with her school because I was so afraid that the other kids would be mean or make fun of her. Thank goodness we've had nothing but positive reactions and support and she's adjusted well. It's best to be honest with them and those around you to make things easier.

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