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When Brycen Juby was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with autism and apraxia of speech and was nonverbal until he was 5, his mother, Ashley Juby, told Yahoo Lifestyle. When he was a year old, Ashley says they were able to take him to a “kiddie place” to get his hair cut, but as he grew older it was a "screaming meltdown every time."
"For the last roughly four years my husband has been cutting his hair at home," Ashley said. "[Brycen] would still melt down every time."
Recently, however, Brycen started to tolerate the haircuts without crying, and Ashley and her husband, Joe Juby, thought it might be time to try a barber again. Knowing that Brycen could get upset, they reached out to Marky Fresh Barbershop asking if they could get their son a haircut after the shop was closed. Marco Conti, the co-owner of the barbershop, responded to their direct message and immediately set up an appointment after-hours.
"Marco was happy to help any way he could,” Ashley said. “To find someone so accommodating was such a relief."
When Brycen and his father arrived, the boy "became very emotional with the whole situation," Conti told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Conti recognized that Brycen felt more comfortable outside the shop, so he asked if it would be OK if he cut his hair outside.
"Brycen, with tears down his cheeks, agreed," Conti said.
They moved a chair outside and Conti started to trim away at Brycen's hair as Joe cradled his son's face. The moment was captured on camera.
"I feel that it is our duty to open our hearts and to accommodate everyone as best as we can with whatever resources we have available with action over intention," Conti said. "I just wanted him to feel loved and comfortable and safe and that there was nothing to fear."
While a haircut may just be another run-of-the-mill errand, this one holds a special meaning for the family. This is Brycen's first year at public school, and picture day is on Thursday.
"This is a new start for Brycen, being at the public school," Ashley said. "He has worked so hard to be in a bigger school and was so ready."
This was also a first for the Marky Fresh brand, but it "won't be the last."
"This has opened doors for those parents that were silent and those that just didn’t know that we are more than willing to help," Conti said.
"There are kind, patient, understanding people out there," Ashley said. "Marco was ready for however the situation would turn out."
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