(NewsNation Now) — A mindful barber in Duluth, Georgia, got creative and made sure a boy with sensory issues was able to get a fresh haircut.
Six-year-old Jackson is autistic. He doesn’t like loud noises and he doesn’t like to get his hair cut.
“He was having such a difficult time that we decided to not get his hair cut for quite a bit,” Jackson’s mother LaQuista Erinna said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “And he finally told me that he wanted to get his hair cut.”
Erinna took Jackson to Expozd Men Barber Studio to see Ree, a barber he had been going to for a couple of years.
“This particular day, it was like everything was going wrong. And we forgot his headphones. We were running late. We didn’t have lunch, so I knew it was gonna be difficult that day,” Erinna said.
That is when Ree got creative and found a way to cater to sensitivity issues linked to Jackson’s autism.
“I gotta think of something real quick, because today he wasn’t having a great day,” Ree said.
Ree noticed that Jackson had the image of Mario on his shirt and he had a toy Mario sitting on the sofa.
“I’m like, OK, Jackson, we’re gonna turn this into a game,” Ree said.
Ree told Jackson that they had to “protect” the Mario on his shirt from the toy Mario on the sofa.
“So that’s why we were running around the room,” Ree said. The toy Mario that was on the sofa “was going to try to attack us if we didn’t run.”
The video Erinna posted on TikTok shows the two moving about the barbershop as Ree attends to Jackson’s haircut and Jackson busy defending Mario.
“The reason why he’s moving his hands on his shirt was to protect Mario, to keep the hair from getting on Mario,” Ree said. “I had to distract him in some type of way.”
Ree stepped in, creatively constructing a diversion story which ultimately allowed the haircut to happen.
“Parents who have children on the spectrum, we often get, you know, people who don’t necessarily want to deal with us, they’re very frustrated and have little to no patience,” Erinna said. “But they don’t understand the unique needs that certain children have.”
Ree’s actions meant the world to Erinna.
It “actually brought me to tears when I was sitting there watching her do her magic,” Erinna said. “I just hope that this serves as a reminder that you know, everybody deserves a little bit of kindness and compassion in this world.”