A mom recently turned to Instagram to brag on her son’s barber, who she calls “a blessing.”
The barber, Ree, has always worked patiently and creatively with LaQuista Erinna’s son, Jackson, who is on the autism spectrum. But recently she had to work super hard to keep him calm because he’d forgotten to bring the headphones he usually uses during haircuts.
“She’s always been so patient and kind to Jack-Jack,” LaQuista wrote on her Instagram page. “Yesterday was an epic meltdown. I usually have to do some coaching to get him in the chair. He will put on his headphones, and we power through. Yesterday he forgot his headphones, and it went downhill fast. He refused to sit in the chair and just lost it.”
Luckily, however, Ree had a few extra tricks up her sleeve to help her manage Jackson’s behavior that day. In a genius move, she suggested they make the haircut into a game.
“Ree noticed his Super Mario Bros hoodie (he’s low-key obsessed) and told him that he needed to save Mario by making sure no hair gets on him,” wrote LaQuista. “She cut his hair while he moved and ran around the shop. His smile at the end was priceless.”
The video below shows the six-year-old boy clearly enjoying running around the little barbershop while Ree chases after him, cutting little bits of hair each time she’s able to catch up with him. She talks to him throughout the entire process, encouraging him and reminding him about the game to keep him engaged.
“I was so moved by the patience and care provided to my son, and I decided to record. I had no idea that the video would go viral or so many parents of kids on the spectrum would reach out to me to share their story,” says LaQuista.
The video has quickly gone viral, and for good reason. There certainly are not many barbers out there like Ree.
“@expozdcutz (put some respeck on her name) has been a blessing to my family. When your kid is on the spectrum, people don’t want to be bothered,” LaQuista says in the video’s caption.
In an effort to ensure that Ree is able to continue taking extra time to do a great job for kids on the spectrum, LaQuista has started a GoFundMe page for her. So far, the page has raised about $2800.
LaQuista hopes this video will help raise awareness for the difficulty many people on the autism spectrum have with getting haircuts and other similar sensory experiences.
“Getting haircuts can be scary and even traumatizing for someone with ASD. She nurtured this relationship and gained his trust. Haircuts are still scary for Jack-Jack, but we try to make it as comfortable as possible, and we NEVER force him to get a cut,” she says.
Check out the video below to see this very special barber at work!Whizzco