James Willis and Denine Davies’ son Mason was diagnosed with ASD a few months ago. They’ve been struggling with cutting his hair because Mason does not like his ears to be touched — which makes it really difficult to get him to sit still for a haircut. As luck would have it, someone recommended a barber who would end up working with Mason in the most creatively patient way.
The barber’s name is James Williams, of the shop, Jim The Trim. He explained on his Facebook page that over the last few months he’s been attempting to find different ways to cut Mason’s hair, but Mason wouldn’t allow him to go near one of his ears and would run away if he got too close to it. But one day, Mason stretched out on the floor of Williams’ shop in silence, and Williams met him down there:
Williams explains that by getting on the floor and laying with Mason in silence, Mason allowed him to give him his first proper haircut. “I love making both parents happy by giving extra attention,” Williams said. And when he finished, he asked Mason for a high-five and instead got a hug.
The images are going viral on Facebook for good reason. Williams could’ve easily given up and resigned to not being able to do it. He didn’t. He acted with kindness and patience. We always wonder what we can do to make the world a better place. Here’s an example: practice kindness. Practice patience. Show someone that what they’re going through matters, like Williams did for these parents. The saying rings true, “One single act of kindness can change the world.”
“I’m just glad [I’ve] been a part of the journey to put a smile on [their] faces,” wrote Williams in response to the huge reach his images have had. “Thank you for allowing me to help you guys.”
So many parents of autistic children chimed in on the post to talk about the stress something like a haircut can bring. It’s truly eye-opening:
that’s amazing. I got asked to remove my child from a hairdressers and yet this man took all that time working on building a bond with him…amazing
This is great! About a 5-6 hour drive from me unfortunately, my son could really do to find someone who understands like this! Well done x
This is fantastic to see – as a parent of a child with learning disabilities and autism it is so heartwarming to see others who understand, have patience and an approach which makes such a difference to the lives of us and our children x wish I had a “jim”!! X
I have a 7 year old son with autism and he has long hair because he is terrified of the hairdressers. Wish you were our hairdresser! I have tried everything to cut his hair.
Amazing! I have to shave my boys hair as I doubt he would let anyone else near it.
A story like this really makes you stop and think of all the ways you can move through the world with more consideration. Raising a child with special needs wouldn’t be nearly as daunting if more people practiced patience. And as Williams has shown, there’s a huge payoff. The situation clearly brought him just as much joy as it did Mason’s parents.