Quebec barber praised for getting on floor to cut hair of young client with autism - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
3.0°C

Quebec barber praised for getting on floor to cut hair of young client with autism

A barber from western Quebec is drawing widespread praise for going out of his way to accommodate a young client with autism. This handout photo, posted online last week, shows Francis "Franz" Jacob lying on the floor of his Rouyn-Noranda shop as he gives a young boy named Wyatt a haircut.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Franz Jacob
October 06, 2017 - 9:00 PM

ROUYN NORANDA, Que. - The photo shows a bearded, tattooed barber lying on his side on the floor, using a pair of clippers to trim the hair of the young boy lying facedown beside him.

Francis "Franz" Jacob says it's just part of a day's work, but the barber from Rouyn-Noranda, Que. has become an unlikely celebrity after the boy's mother posted the photo online to thank him for going out of his way to accommodate her son Wyatt, who has autism.

Jacob owns an old-fashioned barber shop that specializes in 1920 to 1950's-style punk and rockabilly haircuts, but he says he's also developed a connection with special needs clients like Wyatt.

"Each time I'm doing Wyatt's hair, he's always going on the ground, moving around, sitting on his mom's lap, standing beside the chair," said Jacob, 45.

"That's why I have a wireless clipper now, because at first I had to follow Wyatt around and plug my clipper into (different outlets)."

Jacob opened his salon two years ago in the mining city some 600 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

Wyatt was his first client with autism, but since meeting him he's taken on others.

"Each one has different needs and reactions, so each time it's about adjusting to the client," he said.

He also occasionally cuts hair for clients who are terminally ill.

The boy's mother, Fauve Lafreniere, told CBC News that haircuts are a challenge for Wyatt because he moves a lot and can be hypersensitive to touch.

She said she posted the picture online in the hopes others would follow Jacob's example in finding "other ways to approach differences."

Jacob says he's received countless messages and phone calls since the photo began to make its way around the Internet.

Since most of the photos taken at his shop are of slick rock-style haircuts, he's glad people are getting to see another side of what he does.

"In this case you can see the extra mile that the barber is doing," he said.

"I don't mind going on the floor, I don't see any difference between musicians or an autistic kid, it's the same extra mile."

- with files from Morgan Lowrie in Montreal.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • UPDATE: Missing Vernon woman found
    UPDATE: 9:26 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 VERNON - RCMP says a missing 39-year-old Vernon woman reported missing yesterday, Jan. 19, has been located and she is safe and sound. All p
  • Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here are some details on how
    WASHINGTON - In one of several testy exchanges during a U.S. Senate hearing this week, the country's secretary of homeland security was pressed to explain a new policy that allows customs agen
  • UPDATE: High profile Vernon homeless camp dismantled
    "THERE'S NOWHERE IN VERNON WE'RE ALLOWED TO CAMP" VERNON - Several homeless people in a makeshift camp near a busy highway intersection are going to have to find somewher
  • UPDATE: More snow on the way for Coquihalla Highway
    After a dump of snow on the Coquihalla Highway overnight, the heavy snowfall is expected to resume tonight. Drivers heading to and from the Lower Mainland will get a break today, Jan. 20, wi
  • Vernon RCMP looking for missing young woman
    VERNON - Police in the North Okanagan are asking for the public's help in finding a missing woman. Suzie Clark, 20, was last seen yesterday, Jan. 18. Vernon North Okanagan RCMP spokesper
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile