Welsh barber ‘Jim the Trim’ has earned a totally new clientele, and he loves it.
Getting a haircut can be a traumatizing experience for a child with autism. According to the nonprofit Autism Speaks, “Haircuts can sometimes be difficult for people with autism. The challenges can range from sensory issues to anxiety about what will happen during the haircutting process.” For months, little Mason’s parents, Jamie Lewis and Denine Davies, had taken him to multiple barbers in their section of Wales to get a haircut, and every time the scissors came out, Mason would run away.
But finally, in dire need of getting his locks trimmed, Mason’s parents took him to barber James “Jim the Trim” Williams. The barber made a few attempts to get Mason in the chair, but the boy ran away from him. So Williams tried a new approach. As Mason sat on the floor looking at an iPhone, Williams knelt down to his level and quietly got out his scissors. “We both lay on the floor in silence,” Williams said, “and he allowed me to cut away and give him his first proper haircut.”
After posting photos of himself and Mason on Facebook, Williams’ story quickly went viral. Parents of children with autism began contacting Williams to see if he could cut their child’s hair, too. “Within a few hours, I just started looking at my phone and everything kept flickerin’,” Williams said, “and comments kept coming through with people saying they’re ‘absolutely amazed’ at what I had done. [Now] I have families coming in to asking to help their children.”
Williams looks forward to helping more families and getting more barbers involved to help children with autism. “I’m looking for a way to promote this,” Williams said, “to reach out to families to help them. We can get groups, charities, and obviously other barbers [to] set this up in America or Australia … next year could be exiting for me outside of being ‘Jim the Trim.’”
(H/T Pretty 52)