Having autism can make the everyday things that most of us take for granted challenging. For Toby, a hair cut is one of them. 

Imagine having to go somewhere new, that’s full of lots of new people, lots of noise of hair dryers, hair clippers, people chatting and the radio playing loudly too and then being expected to sit whilst someone invades your personal space with strange combs, brushes and scissors and tries to cut your hair off. When you have sensory needs and social difficulties this can be extremely difficult and can often result in children becoming completely overwhelmed and having a meltdown.

However Jemma at Roots gave us a much more positive experience this afternoon and for the first time in a very long time Toby’s had a proper hair cut! Check out his before and after pictures…a haircut was long overdue..!


We had a VIP appointment at Roots in Aycliffe with Jemma who has recently started offering individual appointments for children like Toby.

We walked in to find a Thomas the tank DVD playing which straight away put Toby at ease . There was no expection to sit in the chair (or even sit at all!) and Jemma was amazing at working around Toby’s needs and didn’t bat an eyelid at him chewing her comb or trying to eat his off cuts of hair. She’s a had lots of experience (including raising her own children with asd) and Toby was so comfortable he even climbed on to her knee for a little while.

Toby preferred to be sat on the floor with both his iPads and he had my iPhone too (we do call him Toby two-screens as he loves watching two things at once). He also had some of his sensory chew toys and a drink. I was armed with snacks but we didn’t even need them.


There was no rush and Jemma was happy to take as long as Toby needed. I think we were in about 45 minutes – she did say that one little boy this morning at taken an hour and a half. And all for just a tenner too! We will definitely be back! She is also looking to get some more sensory toys for children to play with whilst she cuts their hair.

Something like this makes such a difference to families like ours and makes what could be a very stressful situation a very positive experience. Thank you so much Jemma.

Check out Roots on Facebook

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