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Mazmullen , 02 Dec 2015

Trichotillmania and autism

Anyone know anyyhing about a possible relationship between Trichtillamania and ASD?

4 Answers
Tasneem Abrahams
December 16, 2015

Hi Mazmullen, thanks for your question. I am one of the therapists here at In answer to your question here is a link to an article I wrote for our blog on this very topic:

Although there is no definitive evidence of the relationship, from my experience with both autism and trich there certainly are some overlaps in terms of the emotional and sensory regulation aspects some people experience with trich. I hope that answers your question.

April 07, 2016
My daughter is autistic and is already 13 years old, she is nonverbal and recently been diagnosed with partial seizure as noted by her neuro doctor after subjecting her to EEG. The worst thing is that she engaged in hair pulling to any body who come close to her, even my wife ( her mother ).

Is there any way or method that could possibly stop this injurious behavior?.
Tasneem Abrahams
April 20, 2016

Hi hyper13,

Thank you for your question. I recognize it must be incredibly worrying as a parent. I unfortunately cannot offer any specific advice, except to say that in the case of autism it is best to take a holistic approach. Is your daughter being treated by an occupational therapist? An occupational therapist who specializes in autism and sensory integration therapy would be able to assess your daugher and work together with her other health providers to determine the best course of action.

In the short term it may be worth exploring various competing responses in the way of fidget toys that mimic the pulling of hair. For example a fluffy object that she could pull at whenever she feels the urge. Here is an article about fiddles and fidgets: but you can also do an internet search on sensory processing disorder fidget toys. Best of luck and do let us know what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

April 20, 2016
Many thanks for your reply and links
I'll have a look at these now

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