I know this may sound weird, but do your young children with AA hate Duck, Duck, Goose? My daughter is 6 and is totally bald. They play this game a lot at her dance and gymnastic classes. I noticed some of the kids avoid touching her head and tend to not pick her. This is unusual because before she lost her hair she was one of the popular kids who was picked most often. She has made comments that she doesn't like to play it, but when I ask why she just says its a dumb game and she doesn't get picked that much. She never said this in the past. A part of me wants to mention this to the teachers, but I hate to be that kind of mom. Plus my daughter would be upset if she knew I said something. Her way of coping with her hair loss is acting like it is no big deal and I have to admit that most of the kids really don't treat her any different except when playing this game. Maybe I am just being paranoid.
I don't believe you are being paranoid. This is difficult for your daughter not only because the image she now portrays to the world is very different, but more because she and you can't control it. The good news is you can control how she handles things.
Exclusion is what she seems to be dealing with... this is a form of bullying and will be making her feel uncomfortable (even though she is little she gets that she is being treated different, but part of her will not understand fully why). Kids are very simplistic in there coping strategies, whereas adults have far more depth of knowledge. This is why you are feeling something is really up here. I think you are right.
I would talk to the teacher and to your daughter. I understand she doesn't want to talk about her alopecia, but the challenge that this condition brings to young people means that you have to take the lead and help her to become empowered around the decisions you and her make with regards to her alopecia.
I often use to feel powerless with my daughter with dealing with schools and social occasions. But I did find my way and helped my daughter to feel empowered through all the challenges that alopecia brings. I am still learning 10 years on. My want through all the years she has had alopecia was for her alopecia to be a small part of who she is - never to be denied or ashamed of, but also not her defining feature...she is so much more than her alopecia.
If I can help in any way please message me at any time.
She could have a special animal hat that EVERYONE wants to "pet" for this game. Then she would be the most popular one in the group! I just saw a 7th grader wearing a panda winter hat yesterday...in class!
The stuffed plush toy animal hats are called Hat-imals, and it says "one size fits all" online. But hey, you could even make one yourself, without the scarf and mittens. Just sew a partial stuffed animal onto a cap or beanie!
I work at an elementary school. A lot of kids have them and love them. My 17 year old daughter bought one two years ago and loves it.
Your daughter is beautiful!