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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 25 May, 2018

One lovely barber in Cork went above and beyond for a customer who has autism

Fair play.

Rock-N-Roll Conference - Dublin Source: PA Archive/PA Images

GETTING A HAIRCUT can be difficult for people with autism. Because of sensory challenges associated with the condition, lots of kids and adults with autism can find getting a haircut distressing to varying degrees.

Whether it’s the noise of scissors, the feeling of water on their heads or someone else touching their hair, or even just having to sit still for an extended period, people with autism can find haircuts very uncomfortable.

Beauty Stock Source: Kai Remmers

Sometimes hairdressers and barbers will outright refuse to cut the hair of children with autism because they can scream or respond badly.

However, for Evan O’Dwyer, luckily that’s not the case. Like most guys, Evan has been going to the same barbers for most of his life. For the last 14 years, barber Donncha O’Connell of Baldy Barber in the Cork City suburb of Blackpool has been cutting Evan’s hair.

PastedImage-33683 Source: Evan O'Dwyer/Facebook

In a recent post on Facebook, Evan’s mother Deirdre shared some photos.

She wanted to show how much the family appreciated Donncha’s understanding of Evan’s autism. On Monday when Evan was brought in for a haircut, he had other ideas and refused to stay in the chair.

So rather than struggle and try and keep Evan seated against his will, Donncha simply let him go to the car where he felt much more at ease. Donncha joined him in the car, which Deirdre describes as Evan’s “happy place” and trimmed his hair there.

PastedImage-83176 Source: Evan O'Dwyer/Facebook

PastedImage-70729 Source: Evan O'Dwyer

Evan’s mam is thrilled at the response to the Facebook post.

She told that she has been overwhelmed by the response from the public and is grateful for all of the kind comments and phone calls that she has received.

She is  delighted to see that the post has raised awareness for other families in similar situations and shown that there are people willing to go that extra mile to help with the challenges her son faces in life.

PastedImage-34939 Evan sporting his new haircut. Source: Evan O'Dwyer


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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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