When I was a kid I didn’t care for hair cuts. Don’t really remember why. I think mostly because my mom was a hair dresser and she would always try and cut it at home. But I always wanted to go to the salon and feel pampered in a way.
These days I look forward to getting to go for some self care time. As a special needs mom it doesn’t happen often.
But for my son it’s a whole other story. He has sensory issues. He doesn’t like anyone doing anything around his ears.
We’ve tried having him sit on my lap or my husband’s. We have even brought along his tablet hoping he would be so engaged he would forget what the hair stylist was doing. Bubbles help us somewhat but seems he is somewhat outgrowing that.
Trying to take him to a barber shop or salon is not easy, too many people and commotion going on. He is absolutely terrified of the hair dryer. So even if the stylist isn’t using it on him, he will trimmer with fear.
We have been lucky enough to find a stylist that has her own place. So no one else to worry about.
Graham is three years old and has had his hair cut maybe five times that I can recall. He has curly hair so I use that as an excuse that I won’t cut them off. We get a lot of compliments on his curly locks. But the real reason is because it’s a chore to try and get it done.
I share this because I read an article about a family in Texas that couldn’t take their special needs son to get his hair cut to the one place they have had anytime of luck because of Covid.
They wouldn’t allow this eight year old boy’s mom come in with him. His dad is the one who usually takes him in so he tried calling the Supercuts but it did no good. The boy’s mother even tried calling later to speak to the store manager. The manager told her that a five year old can come in by himself to get his hair cut.
The mother went on to say she needed to go in to protect the employees because of he has a meltdown during his hair cut she needed to be able to calm down the situation and decompress her son.
The manager responded saying she could stand outside and watch. The mother’s concern with this was she wouldn’t know what they were saying to him or if they were being mean.
Being an advocate for her son she informed them that he had right under the ADA and the manager was unwilling to to accommodate them. They then proceeded to contact the Better Business Bureau who has opened an investigation.
The boys parents also contacted the Supercuts about the situation and received a letter back from the president apologizing and saying they would provide a system-wide review of the ADA requirements and clarifying how these requirements take precedence over any COVID guidelines.
The family shared that being parents of a special needs child to know your child’s rights and to stand up for your child because no one else will.
It’s sad that something as simple as getting a hair cut can turn into such a big ordeal. But as parents of special needs kiddos we know that even the simplest of things don’t always seem simple.
We love his curls! WHO lets a 5 year old go into any establishment alone? COVID is not an acceptable reason to expect parents to allow that. It should never be a question that special needs children have a parent present at all times when the parent deems it necessary. It’s called compassion.
I am thankful for Graham. Because of him, I was able to recognize that a child was not unruly, he was autistic–big difference. Hopefully the more the world learns, the more they will accept and accommodate with kindness.