Adaption plays a huge role in the life of anyone who has autism. This can be especially true for parents trying to accommodate autistic children in a way that allows them to complete tasks that may just be easier for neurotypical children. Something as simple as getting a haircut, for example, can be overwhelming and terrifying for a child with autism.
According to TODAY Parents, a barber in Ohio is being praised for going the extra mile and adapting to the needs of a young boy with autism who came in for a haircut.
“Brycen was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 and a half years old, and shortly after he was diagnosed with apraxia of speech and was nonverbal until he was 5,” his mother Ashley Juby revealed to the media outlet.
Prior to the age of 3-years-old, Ashley admitted to having luck taking her son to what she referred to as “kiddie salons.” These types of salons often have play lands, televisions, games, special barber chairs, and other fun accommodations to make the experience easier on small children. When their son turned 3-years-old, however, going to the kiddie salons became too overwhelming for him.
So, Brycen’s parents made the decision to cut his hair at home to better accommodate his needs and fears.
Brycen, who is now 7, recently started school and his parents thought it was time to see if they could get a professional haircut so he could look his best for his school pictures.
Marco Conti, a co-owner of Marky Fresh Barbershop in Mentor, Ohio, told TODAY Parents that Brycen’s mother had contacted them as they wanted to bring him in when the shop was known to be less busy. They were hoping fewer customers would be easier on their son. So, they set up an appointment for a little over a week ago on October 12.
Conti recalled the young boy becoming extremely emotional when he entered the shop to get his hair cut. The barber noticed Brycen seemed to be a little calmer when he was outside. So, he asked if the young man would prefer to have his hair cut outside.
“I just wanted to make him feel safe and comfortable,” the barber said as he explained his reasoning to the media outlet.
Conti admitted that he didn’t feel as though it was “a big deal” when he did it. He thought it was something he would have done for anyone. “I just thought it was something that I had to do,” he continued to explain.
His co-workers took a photo of him cutting the young boy’s hair and shared it on Facebook. In the Facebook post, Conti noted that he was always open to traveling to the homes of individuals with autism or any type of special needs to make getting a hair cut possible. He encouraged anyone local that needed a trim to contact him. The post attracted a lot of attention as many commended him on going to such a great effort for the young boy.
Many parents of children with special needs were quick to thank him as they knew how difficult haircuts could be.