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Sunday Funday Moment: El Paso barber offers sensory friendly services for children with autism

Sunday Funday Moment: El Paso barber offers sensory friendly services for children with autism

El Paso, Texas-- For young kids, getting a haircut usually isn't that difficult, however for children that are in the autism spectrum it can become a bit challenging. That’s when Edgar "Scissorhands" comes in to help parents and their children feel comfortable when it comes to getting a haircut.

“Kids are our future. Every kid deserves a haircut and parents tell me their son hasn't had a haircut because they don't like the environment they're in or for whatever reason, you know it doesn't feels good,” said Edgar Guerrero, a local barber at the Barber Spot located in northeast El Paso.

Guerrero has been cutting hair for over 10 years now.

"I moved to California when I was 16, 17 years old and getting into some trouble," said Guerrero, "A friend of mine was a barber at the time and I would go hang out there and I started sweeping the shop and I started making some extra cash sweeping the shop and then he started teaching me about cutting hair.”

After the pandemic hit the borderland, clientele at the Barber Spot began to decrease so Guerrero began thinking of ways to increase customers.

"My cousin has a kid who has autism so she asked me if I could try and cut his hair, so I did all this research online and found out that there was a big need for sensor friendly barbers not just in El Paso but everywhere,” said Guerrero.

Every other Sunday Guerrero offers autistic children and others with sensory processing issues a safe space that caters to their sensory needs.

“When they call for an appointment I ask what they're real sensitive about and what they like," explained Guerrero, "I ask what kind of snacks they like because when they come in I offer them drinks of snacks and I put movies on for them or whatever they like.”

Appointments are usually an hour and a half long and the client will have the shop all to themselves during that time.

"There's no loud music unless they want the music and I dim the lights. It usually just depends on each child what makes them more comfortable,” said Guerrero.

This experience has been a positive one for both Guerrero and his customers.

"I had this customer that came in and she brought her son," said Guerrero, "I cut his hair and when I showed him in the mirror he smiled and she cried and I thought I did a bad job but she was like 'Edgar I've never seen my son smile in six years like that' and so I lost it too.”

He hopes to continue providing these sensory friendly services as long as he can.

“I don't see an illness, I don't see a sickness or anything I just see a kid a kid who needs a haircut and yea sometimes it’s a little difficult if he’s moving or what not but hey he needs to look good too,” said Guerrero.

The Barber Spot is located in north east El Paso on 4025 Fred Wilson. You can schedule an appointment with Guerrero by calling or texting him at 915-255-5951 or visiting him on Facebook or Instagram.

Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.

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