Barber Helps 6-Year-Old With Autism Calm Down For Haircut By Turning It Into Game

Although we've seen some societal progress in recent years regarding how autism spectrum disorders are understood, it's still a toss-up as to how much the average person gets about it.

And while the nature of each person's condition can give them some unique challenges all on its own, this can mean that some autistic people will have difficulty accessing services or finding employment depending on where they find themselves.

That's certainly frustrating for adults, but it's particularly hard when children face that lack of understanding in their daily lives. And that's why it often means the world to parents when their kids are able to form a connection with someone who does get what they're going through and shows them kindness.

And that's why one mom is celebrating a Georgia barber who was able to patiently walk her son through some of his biggest triggers.

Shortly before his third birthday, Dr. LaQuista Erinna of Atlanta Georgia found out that her now six-year-old son Jackson was autistic.

And while she described him as playful, energetic and artistic to Good Morning America, she also shared that she feels he is often judged by others who don't understand his behaviors.

This makes some everyday tasks harder than they would otherwise be.

And this is particularly true when the time comes to give Jackson a haircut because he neither likes the noise of barbershops nor the feeling of hair touching him.

As a result, Erinna said that she had to stop taking him to barbershops for over a year because he would quickly become overstimulated.

In her words, "We've gone to barber shops before where, you know, we, in so many words, been told not to come back."

But it seemed like things would be different after Jackson accompanied his 16-year-old brother to barber Sheree Bethea's studio in nearby Duluth. She's also known as Ree the Barber in her community.

As Erinna put it, "She’s always been so patient and kind to Jack-Jack."

And that kindness really shone through during a January 7 visit that didn't start out well for Jackson.

As Erinna explained in an Instagram post, she usually has to coach her son to sit in the barber's chair and then he powers through the haircut with the help of some headphones.

But since they forgot his headphones that day, he had what she described as an "epic meltdown" and refused to sit in the chair.

Yet not only did Bethea not need him to do that, but she saw from his shirt and matching toy that he loves Mario and thought on her feet.

As we can see here, Bethea would end up turning the haircut into a game and told Jackson to save Mario by making sure no hair gets on him.

From there, she let him run around her shop while she stayed on him and kept her hand steady enough that she could finish his haircut no matter how much he moved.

Bethea figured that if he's moving and running around, he's not worrying about what she's doing and she turned out to be right.

As Erinna said, "When you find someone who is just a breath of fresh air and accommodating, it really touches your heart. Ree is a gem."

h/t: Good Morning America

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