When you’re a mother, especially a mother of a child with special needs you acquire so many different types of responsibilities; many of which we cannot take upon ourselves, our children are our first priority and we are constantly searching for what’s best for them, and what will bring us comfort; whether it’s the best doctor when they are sick, a good school that can adapt themselves to their individualized needs or a sport that our child might have shown some interest in. However, what can we do when it comes to the physical aspect? It’s difficult when its’ time to cut their hair, and we have to go to the hair dresser (My case in particular my daughter Gianna is very hypersensitive to any sensory stimuli) and has great difficulty when it comes to waiting as well. So finding a hair stylist that’s sensitive and can accommodate to her particular needs has been a great challenge.
A few days ago someone I know recommended taking my daughter Gianna, who has severe autism and is non-verbal to a nearby hair salon. Her home ABA therapist (Applied Behavior Analysis) accompanied me to help with the process.
I was presently surprised with the kindness and friendliness in which this young man, named Hector Cruz, with 4years of experience. He was a stranger to my daughter yet was able to provide her with a sense of security and confidence; one of the details I particularly loved was how he went according to her needs. When he wanted to wet her hair she rejected that step and did not let him continue, nonetheless with patience and tenderness he brought her back to the chair and proceeded to wet and cut her hair. When her ABA therapist and I saw her stand up and move away we were both extremely nervous, being that Gianna is the type of person that will let you know when she not stratified and is feeling uncomfortable and we immediately have to leave the premises. However, this time, for the first time, she felt relaxed while he did his job, which was short and perfect.
In some cases, children with special needs have difficulty tolerating loud noises, multitudes or physical contact yet this experience was very pleasant due to the hair stylist being so understanding. When he finished his haircut her therapist suggested Gianna saying goodbye to her hair stylist, while smiling, Gianna turned to us as to asking permission, and to my surprise she immediately went towards him and gave him a hug and a kiss on his cheeks! Gianna does not normally have that type of contact with strangers, however this was her way of thanking him for his kindness.
I later found out that Hector has a nephew with special needs and stated saying that it’s a privilege investing his time and work on the angels that the Lord has given us.
As a mother I feel truly grateful when meeting people with a human warmth towards children with special needs, and that despite their difficult behavior they find the patience necessary to treat them with love and be able to do their jobs without the child feeling scared. Thank you Hector Cruz for your affection and for making that moment and enjoyable experience.