You probably take the simple act of getting a haircut for granted. But for those living with autism, who often struggle with a hypersensitivity to sound and touch, this everyday task can be quite the ordeal. Wyatt Lafrenière, 6, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. Since then, his mom, Fauve Lafrenière, says it has been a challenge to cut the boy’s hair.
After being refused by a number of barbers because of his issues, Wyatt’s mom was delighted to find Franz Jakob, the owner of Authentischen Barbier, in Royun-Noranda, Quebec. Jakob happily agreed to cut Wyatt’s hair, and he’s been the boy’s barber for two years now. A photo of Jakob getting down on the floor to cut Wyatt’s hair has now gone viral, with people praising the barber for going above and beyond his job description to ensure Wyatt gets a proper cut:
— HuffPost UK Parents (@HPUKParents) October 10, 2017
Jakob quickly gained a reputation for his unique skills and dedication to his clients, and he now offers his services to a number of children with autism, as well as for kids with other special needs. What’s more? He doesn’t charge their parents for his work.
“My shop is completely vintage,” Jakob told TODAY. “All the walls are jammed with photos and stuff from around here. I think that has a positive effect on the kids. Each time I’m doing it there are no tears, no screams. We enjoy it together. I think the atmosphere of the barbershop helps a lot. I really take my time doing it. I can take up to 90 minutes cutting hair for kids with special needs.”
Another specialty of Jakob’s is pro bono cuts for the terminally ill, who want to experience the thrill of getting a great haircut one last time. “The first time was some guy who brought me one of his friends who was in his last hours, and he wanted a shave and a haircut,” said Jakob. “It became very emotional, and I said I would do it again. I’m taking great pride doing this. It’s really an honor. We listen to some Hank Williams, and we shave like in the old-school ways.”
We’re so glad this special barber is helping so many people experience one of life’s greatest simple pleasures!