Getting your child's haircut can go one of many ways, including, but not limited to a barrage of kicking and screaming, squirming in the chair and even a rain-shower's worth of tears.
This is something the Jim Williams, owner of Jim the Trim barbershop in the Briton, Ferry, Wales, sees on a daily basis, namely with his clientele of autistic kids who don't like having their hair cut. And Jim purely does this to "reach out to families" who have autistic children – to help these kids, who often become very distressed during a haircut, feel more comfortable in the barber's chair (or on the floor, in some cases).
And the proof is in Jim's inspirational videos. Just yesterday, as part of Autism Sundays – a day he shuts his shop up to his regular clients and only opens for autistic kids – he posted a video showing him trimming young Jayden's hair, which has already had 60K views and counting.
"This this is Jayden [during] his second visit to my barbershop," Jim captioned the video post.
Jim then goes on to talk with Jayden's father about the importance of raising awareness around autism in a bid to help kids, like Jayden, get the support they need from the communities they live in.
And Jayden's father isn't the only parent who is eternally grateful for Jim's commitment to autistic kids…
"We've been bringing Mason in for a few months now," young Mason's parents explain. "Sometimes Mason likes to be just left alone and he will lay on the floor with his phone… Jim managed to get a few snips without Mason noticing – he didn't flinch or anything."
One of Jim's tricks? Distracting the kids with iPhones or iPads, and even letting them have free reign of the shop.
Now, Jim is taking his initiative, Autism Barbers Assembly, abroad, setting up shop in hair salons across the UK, encouraging more hairdressers and barbers to follow his lead in helping more families who have children with autism.
According to Autism Spectrum Australia, autism is a life-long developmental condition that affects the way a person related to his or her surroundings, as well as their interaction with other people.
In Australia alone, it is estimated that as many as 23,000 people are diagnosed with autism each year.
Generally, those on the autism spectrum have difficulty in social communication, social interaction, and sometimes show restricted or repetitive interests and behaviours.
Want to know more about autism? Visit Autism Spectrum Australia's website at www.autismspectrum.org.au or call 1800 ASPECT (1800 277 328).