INSIDE EDITION - A kind barber helped soothe a 16-year-old with autism by giving him a haircut in the family’s car - a safe space for the teen.
Evan O’Dwyer has been going to his barber, Donncha O'Connell, in Ireland for nearly his entire life, but on Monday, Evan was having a rough day.
The teen, who is non-verbal and is severe on the autism spectrum, is highly sensory and was agitated while sitting in the barbershop.
“I [usually] need to cut his nails, brush his teeth and and shave him, all while he's asleep,” Evan’s mom, Deirdre O’Dwyer, told InsideEdition.com. “We got him into the barber's seat and Donncha got one strike with the clippers and Evan was up and out of the seat.”
O’Dwyer said her older son, Dylan, helped get Evan back in the chair but Evan was clearly anxious and agitated.
“I knew to avoid a meltdown the best thing to do was to get him into the car. That's his happy place,” O’Dwyer said.
The mom, however, didn’t want to leave her son with half of a haircut so Donncha then suggested they finish the haircut inside the family’s vehicle.
“Evan got into the car and the haircut continued with no problem,” O’Dwyer said. “It was so good as Evan was happy while getting his haircut and we avoided a meltdown.”
O’Dwyer said she is appreciative of Donncha’s gesture as life can be difficult for families dealing with autism.
“To think someone would go to those lengths to help my son and to make him feel comfortable and safe. I was so delighted as a small task like getting a haircut is huge to most children on the spectrum,” O’Dwyer said.