If you’re feeling down about the state of the human race, this heartwarming story will make you feel a hundred times better. We might feel like we’re slowly turning into egotistical people, so when you hear about these heart-warming stories, it kind of kicks our cynicism to the curb. Donncha O’Connell has been cutting Evan O’Dwyer’s hair for 14 years, and while there’s a certain synergy between them, Evan’s autism sometimes gets in the way of a nice looking haircut. Not this time. When Evan run out of the chair, Donncha was adamant that he was going to finish that haircut one way or another.
HAIRCUTS CAN BE A CHALLENGE FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
They are especially sensitive to a change in routine and can be hypersensitive to visual stimulation, lights, color, sounds, smells, taste, and physical touch. This can cause stress, anxiety and a difficulty to control their behavior.
EVAN WAS LOOKING FOR A HAIRCUT
16-year-old Evan O’Dwyer has autism. So for him going for a haircut at Donncha O’Connell’s barber shop, The Baldy Barber in Blackpool, Ireland can be quite a stressful experience. Thankfully, Donncha is no stranger to Evan’s ailment, as they’ve known each other for years.
EVAN IS A REGULAR AT THE BALDY BARBER
Donncha has been cutting Evan’s hair for the last 14 years. He understands that Evan is nonverbal and he knows the effects of Evan’s autism. This understanding and professional barber knows a thing or two about how to create an environment that’s welcoming to Evan, as autistic kids have a tough time when dealing with change and different stimuli.
BUT SOMETIMES, TOO MUCH IS SIMPLY TOO MUCH
Because Donncha has known Evan for such a long time, he knows you need a lot of patience and understanding when handling Evan’s hair, so easy does it. But right when Donncha was cutting Evan’s hair, he decided to run away and hide in his safe space, the family’s minivan.
EVAN’S MUM’S GOT THE 411 ON WHAT HAPPENED
When discussing Evan’s story with The Metro UK, she mentioned that Evan, “sat in the chair first and as soon as the clippers started he was out of the chair. His brother Dylan got him back in the chair again but it wasn’t working. I could see Evan was getting anxious and agitated, so I knew to avoid a meltdown the best thing to do was to get him in the car.”
BUT THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE HAIRCUT
Donncha O’Connell isn’t your average barber, and he wasn’t going to give up so easily. Instead, Donncha simply followed Evan out of the barber shop and into the minivan where he’d keep chopping Evan’s luscious locks off, even if he wasn’t properly sitting in his barber’s chair.
EVAN WELLBEING COMES FIRST
Rather than making a fuss about not continuing outside of his barber shop, Donncha’s priority was to make sure that Evan was a happy camper and it was imperative that his long term loving customer didn’t leave his appointment with a half-done hair cut. The client always comes first!
A UNIQUE LOCATION FOR A BARBERSHOP
To keep Evan calm so he could finish the haircut, Donncha continued cutting Evan’s hair in the family’s minivan, while Evan’s brother, Dylan, held Evan’s hands, keeping him safe and entertained. That’s a total boss move! Anyone would thrive with a brother like Dylan!
A STORY TO SHARE
Evan’s family was understandably touched, and very grateful to Donncha for handling the situation like a pro. They took photos and shared it on Evan’s Facebook account. As you can imagine, the tear-jerking story quickly went viral, and was shared over 2,000 times!
IN THE FAMILY’S OWN WORDS
“It’s great when you have a brilliant barber who totally understand autism and who will go to any lengths to make your child feel comfortable. Donncha O’Connell 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”.