A CLACKMANNAN hairdresser has "worked wonders" for a teen who struggled with getting his hair cut.

Claire McKay, from Tullibody, said Debbie Black has gone above and beyond for her fifteen-year-old son Josh, who has autism.

He used to find the experience difficult as he deals with a number of sensory issues, but the stylist has been steadily working with him for around five years.

Visiting a salon was previously a challenge, and having longer hair would also cause him distress, until Debbie stepped in.

She is also being recognised by a company called Calming Clipper, which produces kits for those with sensory sensitivity, for going above and beyond.

Claire, 37, said: "I met Debbie at a toddler group when my wee one was younger and she said to bring him in here and she's been great with him.

"It's been a real struggle, he used to really struggle to be able to come in and get his hair cut.

"Debbie was really patient, took loads of time and then it got to the point where he just couldn't come in.

"So Debbie offered to come out to the house and cut it, thank god, I don't know what we would have done without her.

"Because Debbie was coming out and building his confidence he got to a point where he was used to it.

"He was able to come back in and start getting his hair cut again and it's all thanks to Debbie.

"It's a massive deal for him – he likes to be clean and tidy – and she's worked wonders."

Debbie, who has worked in Morgan's Hairdressing in Alloa for around seven years, admits she was surprised to find out about the company's interest.

The 39-year-old said: "I didn't even know she [Claire] had put my name forward for anything like this so it was really, really nice to be appreciated.

"I'd just like to thank Claire for putting my name forward, it's nice when somebody appreciates it and does that."

Her approach with Josh was to make him feel comfortable – sitting and having a chat, using a DVD player for cartoons, cutting his hair at home when need be and explaining what she was doing.

Debbie said: "If anyone is in the same situation come in and speak to us, we can offer other services such as coming to the house until they get used to it if they're quite young.

"Or coming in last thing at night for last appointments, so there's not a lot of customers about if they feel comfortable like that."

Inventor of Calming Clipper, Matthew Michel, said: "Haircuts can be especially challenging for individuals with sensory sensitivity.

"I invented Calming Clipper as an alternative to buzzing electric clippers, which can be too much to handle for a sensory-sensitive individual.

"Nearly every day, we hear from parents about how difficult haircuts are for their child.

"These children often face a variety of obstacles when going to the barbershop: they don't like when people touch their hair, the barbershop is unfamiliar and loud, maybe they don't like close contact with a stranger, and the list goes on.

"So when we heard the story of Debbie going out of her way to help Josh, we felt like it's important to honour her as an example of accommodation in the highest degree.

"Debbie will receive a Calming Barber Award, and both Debbie and Claire will receive a Calming Clipper kit. Congratulations to them."