For most kids, getting a haircut is usually not very stressful or traumatizing, but for kids on the autism spectrum, getting a haircut can be incredibly challenging.
16-year-old Evan O’Dwyer is severe on the autism spectrum and is non-verbal, so things like haircuts and shaving can agitate him easily. “I usually need to cut his nails, brush his teeth and and shave him, all while he’s asleep,” Evan’s mom, Deirdre O’Dwyer, said.
Recently, Deirdre brought Evan to barber Donncha O’Connell, who he’s been going to for haircuts his entire life, but Evan was having a bad day and was about to have a meltdown as he sat in the barber’s seat. “We got him into the barber’s seat and Donncha got one strike with the clippers and Evan was up and out of the seat,” Deirdre said. “I knew to avoid a meltdown the best thing to do was to get him into the car. That’s his happy place.”
Deirdre didn’t want Evan to go home with half his hair cut, so asked O’Connell if he would be willing to cut Evan’s hair in their car. “Evan got into the car and the haircut continued with no problem,” Deirdre said. “It was so good as Evan was happy while getting his haircut and we avoided a meltdown.”
“To think someone would go to those lengths to help my son and to make him feel comfortable and safe. I was so delighted as a small task like getting a haircut is huge to most children on the spectrum,” Deirdre said.
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[Featured image: Facebook/Evan O Dwyer]