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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I'm not a mom, but I have been close with a little girl who had alopecia her whole life.  I've known her since she was four (she's ten now), and she understands a lot more than you think.  Please, please, be as honest and open with your son as possible.  She once asked me if I ever not like myself because I don't have hair.  At five, she knew she had alopecia, what is was, and that she wasn't contagious.  She has had a lot of regrowth, but I was always gently honest with her that while our disease was unpredictable, hair doesn't make us who we are.

Kids are so much smarter than we realize.  The little girl I know taught me that.  I wish you and your family all the best, and of course feel free to contact me :)

Hi,
My daughter had alopecia when she was 3 yrs old and
was losing her hair everyday. We had to shave off
remaining strands. As she got older and she started
asking questions, I explained to her how our bodies
sometimes get confused and her body thinks hair is
foreign substance and prevents it from growing. We
wanted to educate her so that she wd have the facts
to educate her friends if and when they ask her about
it. As and when she has qs, we answer it and always
tell her to think positive and tell her she is much
more than her hair and she shdnt let her hair, or
lack of it define her. Each kid is unique and understands
and reacts differently, give them the information so
that they can face any qs and know they can always
ask u any qs.
Take care.

You've some wonderful responses to your  comments about your son's Alopecia. Be honest and open to his queries and those of his friends. As a retired teacher I was humbled and gob-smacked by the deep questions children asked me about Alopecia. They appreciated my equally as honest responses too.

I love your response!!! I feel that this journey has been harder on me than my daughter because my biggest fear was that I never wanted anyone to make fun of her or be mean. I know I was overweight as a child and that was hard on me but she has amazed me everyday. We have the biggest issues or questions with other adults than with kids who always think the worse but other than that I've learned that those questions will always be around until there is more education about alone is and what it is.

I had bald spots as a child that went away. I don't feel that I ever had to deal with alopecia as a child because I never cared, and maybe it was never really noticeable. So, I'm not really in a position to comment on childhood alopecia, but I'm happy to hear of kids that are OK with who they are in the world. I have been to one alopecia support gathering, and I was saddened to see a little girl who seemed very self conscious about her problem. I use the word "problem" deliberately because it seemed as if she knew something was wrong with her, something her parents were doing their best to fix. It made me question whether I would pursue treatment if my child lost his or her hair because the risks of sending a message about not being OK might seem greater than the chances of treatment leading to regrowth.

I have no information, suggestion, or advice as you ask in your message. I want simply to compliment you for your understandable concern and your astuteness to have composed your great message and sent it/posted it here.

Also, I want to compliment all the replies/repliers that I have skimmed--those individuals are truly caring wonderful individuals with great information, suggestions, and advice.

In addition, I compliment immensely the founders of this Alopecia World website, which provides such a fantastic high-quality forum concerning pertinent topics big and small and which has attracted such fantastic subscribers as reflected by individuals that compose-and-post messages such as above and as reflected by individuals who have accordingly responded so sincerely as I read here.

Gordon

You are so right Gordon.

In New Zealand there is little information for people who have Alopecia and so I began searching on the internet and luckily I found this site. I was able to find out things that I needed to know, but the best thing of all the folk were on my wavelength and had been on a like journey. To able to share with people who know how you are feeling is so up lifting. I will be sharing  this and alike experiences within a group meeting detailing the benefits I gained and with luck they will agree with me that's it's time to form a national body to support each other. But I have found that talking freely and openly about Alopecia is the best thing to do as you take the mystery out of what happening and it becomes just part of who you are. Thanks from me to everyone and best wishes on your own journeys through life.

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