Autism and miracle at Cartoon Cuts

D. Rivera

My wife said it right. When I sent her a short video of our son calmly taking a haircut she said: “it’s a miracle”, and she was right; it truly was. He sat by himself and let the hair stylist cut his hair while he watches Cars 2. He moved and complained every now and then just like any kid, but overall it was great. I was stunned for a moment and then excitement took control of me, and I began taking pictures and congratulating my son on how well he was doing.

Since this is a place just for kids, they have a TV in front of every booth so they are entertained. Yes, this is great. And if you are wondering why we didn’t bring him to this place before; we have but with the same struggle as in other places. We tried everything. Paying for in-home haircut service, we tried doing it ourselves, we took him a couple of times to Cartoon Cuts when he was little, and we also took him to the place where I usually go to get my haircut, which worked for only some time. There was always a struggle and some sort of fight between him and me, and with the stylists who were just trying to do their jobs. There were screaming, pushing, kicking, and chair spinning, but somehow I always managed to complete the task. I try to avoid it as much as I can because the whole event is painful for me too. Every time I get out of there exhausted physically and mentally. As a father I don’t want my children to suffer, and seen him in fear or perhaps pain breaks my heart but sometimes there is really no other choice.

The last time I took him to the place that I usually go it was so terrible, that even the employees told me that perhaps I should bring him another time, maybe on another moment when he would be more willing to let it happen. I was so frustrated for not being able to control him, even though we had done it many time before. We (me and my son) had succeeded against all fear on every occasion, but this time Autism was stronger than both of us. The experience was so bad that I deiced to never go back to that place again. At this time we tried again to perform it at home with no success. I even tried to do it while he was sleeping, but it didn’t worked well either because after a couple of minutes he woke up with just a portion of the work completed. One day my wife told me that she wanted both of us to take him to Cartoons Cuts to see how it goes. She got to sat him in her lap and there was some resistance, but overall it wasn’t as bad as I expected. This gave me some confident for next time, so I took him by myself and you already know the end of the story.

For parents of typical children, these are everyday simple tasks. For parents with a child with special needs, Autism with sensory disorder in our case, going to a Doctor appointment, to a store just to buy groceries, even holiday events and family gatherings are stressful and need a lot of planning ahead. And no matter how much I could try to explain or describe it, you have to live it to really understand the implications.

As time goes by and he grows older I’m seen him mastering activities and accomplishing many new things, which reminds me of his potential and gives me more strength to continue exposing him to all type of environments and help him manage new challenges. I have to give credit to Carol, the stylist that patiently and wisely took care of my son’s haircut. I will definitely return to Cartoon Cuts and ask specifically for her services next time my son needs a haircut. This is a huge step forward, and we are very proud. Great job Diego!

Courtesy of D. Rivera

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