Most teen boys don’t think twice about sitting down in a barber’s chair and getting their hair cut (unless their mom is forcing them, of course). But for some, it’s an activity that’s not always so simple.
Evan O’Dwyer is non-verbal and has been diagnosed with severe autism, so haircuts can sometimes be challenging. Luckily though, he’s been visiting the same barber in Blackpool, Ireland since he was little – a hairdresser named Donncha O’Connell.
Evan’s mom took him into the Baldy Barber one day where O’Connell works. It’s a trip that she’ll never forget.
Turns out, the 16-year-old wasn’t having a good day, so he didn’t want to stay in the chair. Evan’s mom, Deirdre, told Yahoo Beauty that he was getting “agitated” and “anxious” about the experience. However, O’Connell had already started to cut his hair, so there was no going back. They needed an alternative plan.
There was one place that could help calm Evan.
In an interview with InsideEdition.com, 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.”
While jumping in the car would help with Evan’s meltdown, it wouldn’t fix his half-haircut. That’s when O’Connell came up with the perfect solution. He suggested that they finish up Evan’s hair inside of the vehicle, which was parked out front.
O’Connell grabbed his tools and climbed into the car with Evan and his brother. He then cut the teen’s hair in his “happy place.”
Mom Deidre was so grateful for the barber’s kindness and ability to adapt to her son’s needs, that she shared photos on Facebook. She wrote in her viral post:
“It’s great when you have a brilliant barber and who totally understand autism and who will go to any lengths to make your child feel comfortable. Donncha O Connell Snr has been cutting Evans hair for the past 14 years but today Evan had other ideas and refused to stay in the chair so Donncha and his brother Dylan improvised and he cut his hair in the car. Fair play Donncha always making Evan feel at ease”
The internet has been applauding the barber for his actions.
Many parents can relate to the story, as they too have seen their autistic child struggle with haircuts. But even if you’ve never been in the position yourself – it’s still heartwarming to know there are kind people in this world that will go above and beyond to help another.
One Facebook user commented:
“now thats going to last in me forever, a restoration in my faith of human kindness has just occurred!”
Someone else wrote:
“The barbers and young Evan deserve medals for being so patient with each other.”
There are other hairdressers who’ve also gone out of their way to help ease an autistic child. One West Virginia woman named Kaylen cut a boy’s hair while sitting on the floor. She helped make him comfortable by chatting about Christmas and the character Dory!
Evan’s mom Deirdre wasn’t expecting her post to go viral, but she’s happy that it’s helped spread awareness. According to Yahoo Beauty, she said:
“The reason I shared it was because our lives are challenging every day, and just that one kind and simple gesture made my little boy’s life so much easier, and we avoided a meltdown.”
It's great when you have a brilliant barber and who totally understand autism and who will go to any lengths to make…
Watch the video below to see more on the kindhearted hairdresser from West Virginia!
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