This barber is a cut above: What he is doing for this little boy is heartwarming
Blogger and mum of three, Joan Flores was dreading her family's imminent move to Virginia Beach. Along with all the attendant upheaval, to make things even more complicated Joan's 8-year-old son Michael has Autism and finds change of any kind extremely disturbing.
As Joan wrote on her blog, This Ausome Family, even seemingly simple things that other parents do without thinking like getting their children's hair cut can be very difficult.
"If you are an autism parent you already know how difficult and utterly exhausting getting your child’s hair cut can be."
"His first cut was a horrible experience, for us both. After that first cut, we were both ruined for a while."
Joan had no idea what to do as Michael would quite literally flee having his haircut until, that is, Joan brought him to Bladez Barbershop in Vernon, New Jersey. Her older son, David had visited this barbers and loved it. The barber, Freddie Tineo, had a great way with Michael and managed to put him at ease. They got on so well that Michael began to look forward to their visits.
"He talked to him. He joked with him and made him comfortable. I was in shock. We have always gone back. Michael actually asks to go back," she writes.
Freddy continued to cut Michael's hair for the next two years and Joan hugely appreciated what the barber had done for her son but it wasn't until recently when the family made the decision to move that she realised how lost she would be without him.
"I would have to find a new barber for Michael. The thought turned my stomach. The level of trust he has built with Freddy is not something that comes easily."
She joked on Facebook that if she had unlimited funds she would fly Michael back and forth just to get his hair cut. Freddy saw the post and has committed to flying back and forth to cut Michael's hair.
Joan wrote on her blog of how on Michael's last trip to Freddy he asked when the family was due to leave and told her:
“My wife and I talked. We will go down to Virginia before the school year starts so that I can cut Michael’s hair.”
Joan was blown away by gesture.
"There will be a lot of new things for Michael to get used to in our new home. Knowing he will have a familiar face who he trusts to cut his hair is something that is priceless... to all of us."
The story has since gone viral and been reported by national news stations.
Flores says, "Freddy deserves every bit of recognition he is getting. I just can't say enough about him."