Fraser Partners With Salon To Help Kids With Autism Conquer Fear

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This weekend, WCCO is Pulling Together for a giant tug-of-war between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

It’s all in good fun for a good cause. Money raised goes to Fraser, Minnesota’s largest and most experienced provider of autism services.

WCCO’s Kate Raddatz explains how Fraser helped 4-year-old Roman conquer a common fear for children like him with autism.

Four-year-old Roman is awesome. But for him, something simple like getting a haircut wasn’t always easy.

“Extremely difficult, yes. It makes you sweat when you’re watching your kid have so much stress with something that is supposed to be kind of fun,” Roman’s mom Britnie Siedow said.

The unfamiliar sounds and sensations of a salon are a common fear for children with autism.

Roman didn’t like the hair dryers, the cape or the water spray. You wouldn’t know it today.

“All of our stylists here, we go through extensive training through Fraser,” stylist Jodie Gacek said.

Fraser trains all of the stylists at Kids’ Hair on how to better communicate with children on the autism spectrum.

“A good trick that we like to do is we like to spray our hands and then we’ll kinda put the water that way instead of spraying at them,” Gacek said.

“A lot of it has to do with the type of language that you use, so Jodie today with Roman she really did a great job of explaining each thing that she was going to do before she did it,” Gina Gibson, an occupational therapist with Fraser, said.

Roman has been having regular therapy through Fraser for almost a year.

He’s been able to get haircuts tear-free since then.

His mom says she has her son back.

“He wasn’t talking, we couldn’t take him out of the house, his personality wasn’t shining through and now I have a pretty happy little boy,” Siedow said.

Kids’ Hair has a dozen locations in the metro area. Your donations to the Pulling Together event will help kids like Roman have a better future.

“You did awesome,” Gacek said.

“I did my best,” Roman said.

More from Kate Raddatz
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