Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Advocate. Educate. Celebrate.
I find every moment, good or bad.. you can take it to educate people you are dealing with on Autism, because most of the time, they probably need it. Thus was the case on Sundays adventure to First Choice Hair Cutters. We usually go to Young Headz located in St. Catharine's, and they are great there with Owen. Yet still, I find myself there feeling other parents eyes on me, whispering, wandering why this child is freaking out so bad, and trying to demolish his mother. Usually, I will go to any appointment with Owen, wearing one of my Autism shirts, my ribbon on my purse.. something to get the message out there, just so MAYBE they would read it, and say, "oooooooooo...ok".
Sunday, Young Headz was booked, and Owens hair was just insane, so I really wanted it done. He was having a rough morning anyway, from not getting enough sleep the night before and freaked out at soccer, so why not make it the worst day ever and get his hair cut? I called a First Choice by our home, and the first thing I mentioned was, "My 4 yr old son as Autism, is this going to be a problem? he screams, flings himself to the floor, and goes crazy, can you handle cutting someones hair like that?"....What answer did I get? "O yes mam, we have kids with Autism in here all the time, no problem, and no one is here". Perfect. I am on my way.
I get there, and there is another client, so right away I knew it was going to bad. As soon as Owen walked in, he lost his mind. Like ran around screaming, holding his ears, just loosing it. Falling to the floor and kicking - a mess. The hairdresser looked so scared, which pissed me off right away. I said I will hold him, you buzz his hair, FAST. The stylist said she would, "try", and thats when mamma bear came out. I proceeded to tell her, if you do not feel comfortable, then we will leave. I said he has Autism, haircuts to him HURT, so do it fast or we will go elsewhere. Well, conveniently, her toned changed and she did it! Yes, he screamed the whole time, it was horrible, she felt bad - but it got done!
When it was over, and Owen survived another haircut, I also thought, maybe him going crazy and me having to educate more people, was a good thing. Now, they might be a little more understanding and compassionate to what real Autism looks like.