Barber finally cuts autistic boy’s hair after 2 years of haircut ‘disasters’

Lisa Anne, of Brisbane, Australia, has been cutting hair for over 30 years now. Of late, though, giving haircuts has become something of a passion to help “special kids,” as she calls them—meaning, kids who have autism.

That passion started with a 10-year-old autistic boy named Jordie Rowland, whose parents brought him into the barber shop where Lisa Anne worked at the time.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎The Celtic Barber Rothwell Central‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٨ سبتمبر ٢٠١٨

The young boy, who is non-verbal, was reluctant even to set foot in the shop, but once he was inside, he immediately wanted to run for the door. During that first visit, Lisa Anne wasn’t able to cut Jordie’s hair.

She did, however, put in considerable effort into helping Jordie feel comfortable in the new environment; she walked around the shop with him and even lay down on the floor with him. She managed to get a few snips in while he was distracted but was quick to stop when he became flustered.

Good morning everyone I am very excited to be able to share this video of me cutting young Jordie's hair yesterday. Now our relationship began almost two years ago at my prior place of employment in Northlakes. It was a horrendous experience for Jordie and his family back then never achieving a full haircut. It was very stressful for Jordie's parents having to experience the pure terror he suffered back then. I really connected with his mum and Dad and spoke with them about planning how to reduce the hurt and the embarrassment they felt by feeling the judgement of other clients and parents and even remarks made by other staff members who assumed that they were just bad parents whose kid was out of control. I suggested that they bring him on closing in future soit would be a more relaxed environment and also to bring him more often so we had less to cut so it was fast and also so I would become an accepted routine and I could begin to build some trust with Jordan! We did this every second Wednesday and it usually ended up with me lying on the floor with him and his Mum. I also spoke to his Mum Debbie once a week going through different suggestions and homework for her to do also. In my three decades in this trade you just keep trying everything until you discover what works. Unfortunately I was then disciplined by the company for allowing them to bring Jordie in so late in the day. Working for a chain barber you have to be robots with everything black and white with no grey areas!!I quit shortly after without any plans for my future.Debbie was devastated when another staff member told her I was gone. Thankfully he had a heart and gave her my mobile number so we then tried me going to their home so any progress we had made disappeared with this change so we were back to square one. We had the worst ever experience with five of us holding him downWhen I opened my own business 16months ago I could finally commit to a plan that I knew would build that trust with young Jordan we went back to his coming on closing every second week.Well this clip has taken all that time to happen but all the hard work and commitment has paid off. Jordie now walks in holding my hand and sits in the chair with a gown on.We get through the cut our own special way and he now managing a full haircutand we can style it. Amazingly he now even interacts with me and I even get a hug at the end! I know there is a huge need in our community for this one on one care as routine is paramount along with a stress free quiet relaxed environment. With this in mind I am now accepting appointments for one Sunday every month ONLY for these beautiful misunderstood children. Please share this post and help me reach out to more parents that go through hell with such an important part of life a simple haircut!! I will put a photo in the comments of one of Jordie's cut back in his home that reflects the challenging and rewarding journey we have been on together and I look forward to hearing all about your lil ones!hopefully this service may be a solution to one of your huge areas of concern. Please message me about appointments for Sunday the 25th of March. See you all soon and thankyou so much for your ongoing support and loyalty. The Celtic Barber family is very proud to be an autistic friendly barber and to think outside the box! Could I please ask you all to do me a favour and like this page. We are a small local family business and we need to grow our online profile!! Thankyou so much for your support and love I really appreciate all of you!Love your Celtic child whisperer x #supportlocal #localbarber #celticbarberrothwell #celticbarber #freshcuts #undercuts #kidsspecialist #authenticarbers #autisticfriendlybarber #familyfriendly #childwhisperer #irishbarber #barberrothwell #lovingrothwell #bestnorthbrisbanebarbers #bestbarber #realbarbers #kidsmodernstyles #soccermums #outsidethebox #sensorysensitive #awardwinningbarbers #experiencedbarbers #brisbanebarbers #brisbanemums #friendsofautism #queenslandautisticgroups #autisticschools #barberlife #barberlove

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎The Celtic Barber Rothwell Central‎‏ في الجمعة، ٩ مارس ٢٠١٨

Rather than being bothered by the hindrance, she perused the matter with compassion and took it upon herself to help the family.

“I felt that I’d failed, and it made me want to do better,” she said. “It made me want to learn more about autism so I could connect with him and take away his fear.”

Lisa Anne didn’t want to let Jordie or his parents down; autistic kids need haircuts too, after all.

So, she encouraged them to come back every two weeks or so around closing time, at no charge, hoping Jordie would get used to her and the shop.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎The Celtic Barber Rothwell Central‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٨ سبتمبر ٢٠١٨

However, it was no use. She even went to their home to try cutting his hair, but that didn’t work out any better, unfortunately.

Finally, though, Lisa Anne’s boss got fed up with her letting customers in after hours—which was the impetus for Lisa Anne to quit and open her own barber shop, which she called Celtic Barber Rothwell Central.

Tending to autistic kids became something of a passion for Lisa Anne, and word got out about her commitment. Jordie continued to show up every two weeks, and for eight months, their fruitless efforts continued. Then, one day, it happened.

Lisa Anne started to sing “Wheels On The Bus” to calm him, and Jordie immediately looked at her, transfixed. She kept singing, and the boy allowed her to complete his very first full haircut.

“Tears were rolling down my face,” Lisa Anne said. “His mom was crying, his dad was crying, all of us.” It had been two years since Jordie had first set foot in her place of work, and he had finally bridged the gap.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎The Celtic Barber Rothwell Central‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٨ سبتمبر ٢٠١٨

The following week, everything had changed. She had one of her employees record a video while she sang and completed another full haircut for Jordie.

Lisa Anne has since built a host of “special kid” clients and has trained her staff to tend to their needs.

“To me, this is the cornerstone of a barber shop, making connections with people,” Lisa Anne said. “If you connect with people, your business will survive long after you’re here.”

 

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