Barber offers service for youngsters with special needs

LYNDA Emery of ‘Barber Barber’ based in Lisnaskea, has been overwhelmed following the warm response she has received from local people over her decision to allocate one Monday per month of hair appointments for young people with Autism, ADHD or any form of special needs.
“Due to my own personal experience with my children, I know myself first hand how some daily tasks that many of us take for granted, can be very challenging for a person on the spectrum,” explained Lynda.
“I have a few coping mechanisms to help deal with certain situations that may arise and I felt in my profession as a barber, there was a definite need to help those with Autism, as a task such as getting a haircut can be extremely daunting for them.
“I’ve always felt there was such a need for a service like this in our community, as I’ve seen first hand on how traumatic the experience for a child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and their parent can be while entering a busy barber shop.
“So many young people with this condition have an extreme sensitivity to noise, touch, light, crowds, waiting times etc.”
Speaking on the local support she has received, Lynda told the Herald, “I was completely overwhelmed by the response to this but not totally surprised, as I know this is a service that is not available in Fermanagh and I’m delighted that so many has contacted me and expressed an interest in this service.
“There is definitely an increased awareness around Autism and children are thankfully being diagnosed at a much earlier age. Therefore, it’s very important that services like this can be accessed and for the service users to be treated with the respect and understanding that they deserve.
“I hope to make the one on one appointment experience in the chair more comfortable for both the child and their parent. Before lockdown I would of tried my best with every child but the time and privacy just wasn’t available, so I’m hoping that this one on one service will be a major help to the community.
“I’m not guaranteeing that a haircut will be achieved on the day, but I’m willing to give it my best shot and that’s the most important thing.”

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