Nothing is more heartbreaking than being unable to help your child. This barber shows that the kindness of strangers can make it all that much better…
It is difficult for parents to see their children struggle, especially when there isn’t much they can do to change it. Every parents only wishes for the happiness of their child.
No one knows this more than parents who have autistic children. They know that not only can life hold more than the everyday struggle, but they will never be able to understand the world they perceive on many levels.
Autism is a condition that can cause overstimulation in affected individuals in everyday interactions- from going to the mall to getting their haircut. We saw an example of this in the heart-breaking letter a young boy on the autism spectrum wrote and addressed to his mom.
Simple, everyday life can be distressing and stressful for a child with autism.
Jennifer McCafferty, mother to little Isaiah, who is affected by the condition, said of the problems she faces, even haircuts “have never been easy.”
One day, though, it all changed. She took young Isaiah to a Sport Clips in South Charleston, WV for a quick trim.
The West Virginia mom knew that taking Isaiah out for a haircut is a difficult ordeal.
As Isaiah falls on the spectrum for autism, he becomes anxious and stressed when he goes to the barber.
That all ended when McCafferty took him to the South Charleston branch of Sports Clips. There he met Kaylen, the best barber in the world!
McCafferty wrote on a post on Facebook that immediately became viral:
“This woman, Kaylen, at Sports Clips in Charleston did more for my heart than she will probably ever realize.
“Haircuts with Isaiah are no small feat. He hates having anything near his ears, the sound of clippers sends him in to a tailspin… this evening was no different.
“I was ready to give up, but she wasn’t. She sat on the floor with my baby in her lap, and she cut his hair.
“They talked about Dory and Christmas, and she even let him spray her with her water bottle.
“Autism can be so very, very hard, but people like this make our days just a little easier.”
The post spread like wildfire, and was even shared on Facebook over 27,000 times! Page upon page picked up the story, and users loved the amazing kindness that Kaylen exhibited.
All throughout the nation, people feel touched after hearing Isaiah’s beautiful tale, and the amazing love and patience stylist Kaylen had for the young boy.
When asked to comment on the tale, she only had this to say: “I am so honored and humbled to have received so much attention and recognition for simply doing my job.” How modest!
Most stylists want to get the job done as quickly as they can, especially when there are tricky or tough situations such as this. Kaylen, however, took the time and care she needed to understand the little one, and adapt to his mindset.
McCafferty said: “When Isaiah has a meltdown his screams surround you. You know that there is a whole world moving around you, but his screams are all you hear… He needs to find his quiet safe space, and he needs you to bring him there.”
Kaylen said she wasn’t at all bothered by the fact that he was screaming, but rather took the time to understand his fears. She knew what he needed, and provided that as any good person would.
When he needed a break, she let him take it, and didn’t rush or give up.
Kaylen is one of many kind-hearted barbers and hair stylists that have made the extra effort and worked incredibly hard to make young kids with autism feel at home in the barber chair. James Williams, pictured above, became one of these after famously getting down on the ground to cut the hair of a client on the spectrum.
These individuals transformed an uncomfortable, terrifying experience for autistic children into a gentle act of everyday life.
For children on the autism spectrum, kindness from strangers can make them feel as if their difference or imperfections aren’t bad at all, and that there are good people out there who can help you when you need it the most.
In the meantime, for the parents all over the world who deal with stressful events such as taking their autistic child to the dentist, doctor, or simply for a haircut, here is some advice from McCafferty herself:
“You are not alone, though I know it often feels like you are. There are people all over this world, just like Kaylen, who will show up right when you need them to. Remember that regardless of their diagnosis, your child is beautiful, and can do great things in this world.”
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