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Why The Anniversary of My Son With Autism's Haircut is Worth Celebrating

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Yesterday was a huge milestone. Do you want to know what it was?Well, I will tell you. It was five years almost to the day that Dominic has been going to his barber, Vince.

Dominic was 11 when he went to Vince for the first time. He just turned 16 in July. Vince has watched Dominic grow from a boy into a man.  Incase you were wondering, both Vince and Dominic had on their respective masks during the haircut. They removed it briefly for the picture! So, for those of you without sensory sensitivities, getting a haircut can be challenging because of the bright lights; the noise of the hairdryers, people and the clippers; having someone touching their head and lastly, the smell of chemicals. For most of us, those things wouldn’t bother us or we block it out. For those with autism or sensory sensitivities, it can be very difficult. Before Michigan lifted the restrictions for getting a haircut, I asked Dominic a bunch of times if he wanted me to cut his hair. It was always a resounding no.

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I think he remembers all the years I cut his hair where it literally looked like I put a bowl on his head and cut. It was never a thought in my head of going to a different barbershop after the restrictions were lifted. When my husband and Dominic walk through the doors of the barbershop they are treated like family. Throughout these five years, Dominic has formed a trust with Vince. That is so incredibly important for someone on the autism spectrum. Dominic is very intuitive and he knows if someone feels uncomfortable around him. From day one, Vince has treated Dominic with respect, patience and compassion. Vince carries on a conversation with Dominic and even if Dominic doesn’t respond back, Vince just keeps right on clipping. If you find a barber that is as wonderful as Vince, consider yourself very lucky! We sure do!

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: August 26, 2020
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