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This Teen Just Got His First Real Haircut At 14 And It's A Big Deal

Looking good, Aidan!

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This is 14-year-old Aidan with his mom, Kate Wells.

Kate Wells

Aidan has autism and an intellectual disability, which can make everyday tasks more difficult for him.

"His anxiety is very high," Kate said of her son.

Getting haircuts has always been tricky for Aidan, Kate said, because he doesn't like people getting in his personal space, especially with tools like scissors and hair clippers.

“When he was a toddler, he wouldn’t let anyone touch his head. You couldn’t even get near him to touch his head," she said. "What we’d have to do when he was a toddler was cut his hair when he was asleep."

As first reported by PtboCanada, Aidan just had his first professional haircut in a salon, and it's a huge deal for the whole family.

Kate Wells

Up until now, Kate has always cut her son's hair. When he was younger, her husband Jason would hug Aidan close to give him some reassuring pressure while she snipped his locks.

“It got to the point where that was just not working anymore, and we need to build on this and teach him to cope,” Kate said.

She turned to her friend Adam Murray, who owns the Sparrows Hair Studio in Peterborough, Ontario, where the family lives.

Murray agreed to stay late after he had closed up his shop, just for Aidan.

Kate Wells

Kate said that as a teenage boy, Aidan connects better with men, and she figured he'd like Murray's cool beard and tattoos.

“As soon as Adam comes over, Aidan immediately calmed. It was instantaneous. I thought, 'This is amazing',” she said.

“The best thing was once Adam greeted Aidan, it had nothing to do with Jason or me," Kate said. "We were just in the background and it was just the two of them.”

Kate Wells

Kate said that because Aidan's speech is somewhat limited, people don't often talk to Aidan, and address her and her husband instead.

"He’s still a human being and he wants those connections and that respect, and Adam gave it to him," she said.

Throughout the haircut, Murray would explain his next move to Aidan, warn him if something was about to get loud, and just generally keep him comfortable.

“The sensory issues are a big deal, but Adam just knew,” Kate said.

Kate said she, her husband, and their 12-year-old daughter Emma just stared in awe at what was happening.


"The smile that Aidan had on his face...he was just so proud of himself for going through that and having a really cool haircut," Kate said.

Kate Wells

Kate said she has many friends who also have children on the autism spectrum, and she hopes Aidan's story helps others be more compassionate and understanding about some of the challenges that come with that.

"Everyday tasks, things that we all do all the time — our kids who are on the spectrum work really, really hard every day to complete all these tasks that we all take for granted,” she said.

And although she's the only other person who has ever cut Aidan's hair, she's very happy to give up those duties.

“I am happy to pass over the clippers. It’s time I hang mine up,” she said.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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