A MUM has praised a barber for the special effort he made when cutting her autistic son’s hair.
Smita Karhadkar from Bassaleg’s 12-year-old son Aamod is autistic and suffers with crippling anxiety and sensory issues.
When it came time for his haircut, his barber Carl Jones climbed into the family’s car where Aamod feels safe and cut his hair.
The family been visiting Carl at MJ’s Hair & Beauty in Newport for five years, but Aamod now refuses to enter the salon.
Mrs Karhadkar said: “I have booked numerous times in the last few months and have had to cancel last minute as he just won’t step out of the car and refuse hair cut point blank.
“This time we got to the salon okay but then Aamod became overwhelmed and refused to go in. I almost gave up again but then came up with a plan.”
They decided to leave him in the car and cut his hair there where he felt secure and relaxed.
Mrs Karhadkar added: “Carl was absolutely clued on and was proactive in offering to do Aamod’s hair where he was comfortable – in the car.”
Mr Jones said the experience was different to his usual haircuts but that he will try to accommodate anyone at his salon.
He said: “Aamod was happy to sit to there and let me do it. It was a tight squeeze but we managed to do it.”
Although he had no first-hand experience of autism before he met the family, the salon owner and his wife Maxine have had an insight into the disorder.
Mr Jones added: “I have learnt a lot about autism since I met Aamod and when I cut the hair of other autistic children I use the skills I have learnt.”
“We want to them to be comfortable, whether that is inside a car or anywhere else.”
The salon in Duffryn was established in November 2012 and have a number of clients with autism.
Mr Jones said: “We have two young boys who come here who have autism and we try to make them as comfortable as we can.
“My wife and I are very flexible and I will come in to the salon at 7.30am when nobody is at the salon to cut hair.”