A barber named James Williams—aka Jim the Trim, in his native Wales—was recently filmed doing a very special deed. He went above and beyond to ensure a boy with autism was able to get a haircut that wasn’t traumatic.
The boy, whose name is Seb, was apprehensive to get a trim but that’s when Williams reached into his bag of tricks. By cleverly pretending to cut the hair of the toy trucks Seb had brought with him, Williams was able to convince the little boy to get his hair cut as well. Each truck got a turn of two trims, then, after all the trucks had gone, it was Seb’s turn to go.
The whole thing was caught on video and you can see this adorable good deed below.
Seb wasn’t necessarily thrilled that the haircut wasn’t just for his trucks, but because Williams was able to make this process feel more like a game, he was willing to go along. And comforting kids with autism has become a specialty of Jim the Trim. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Williams closes his shop on Sundays so that he can take only customers with autism on that day.
“A lot of them have sensory issues. When it comes to haircuts it comes down to the noise of a clipper, the sensation of hair touching the skin,” Williams told the publication. “It’s as if we have a permanent marker on our hands and we can’t rub it off, that’s the same feeling for them when the hair touches the skin, it sorts of stains them.”
So, thankfully, there are barbers like Williams who are willing to do what it takes to ensure these children have a pleasant experience. Canadian barber Franz Jakob has also gone the extra mile to ensure children with autism had a great time at his shop. A photo of him cutting a little boy named Wyatt’s hair while lying on the floor went viral last year.
6-year-old with autism hates haircuts, so barber makes it an experience he'll love https://t.co/o2deiNTwh9 pic.twitter.com/2IOtxQZdRr
— HuffPost UK Parents (@HPUKParents) October 10, 2017
In 2009, the Autism Speaks advocacy group teamed up with the national salon chain Snip-Its to create a video that explains, for barbers, the best practices for cutting the hair of a child with autism. It also recommended the children themselves watch the video before visiting a barber shop so that there’s less anxiety surrounding the trim. If they know what to expect going in, it could help to ease their nerves.
You can see more tips for a successful haircut at the Autism Speaks website.