A young lad is celebrating becoming a teenager with a series of challenges to raise money for his school.
But rather than skydiving or running a marathon, one of Aaryan Banjaree’s biggest tasks has been braving the barber’s chair for the first time.
Aaryan, from Broughty Ferry, has learning difficulties including Down’s syndrome and autism.
Mum Pronita said his conditions mean that something most teens would find straightforward can be a big challenge for Aaryan.
But to celebrate his 13th birthday on May 3, Aaryan has decided to try to face his fears to raise money for play equipment for Kingspark School, where he is a pupil.
Pronita said: “Up until now I have had to be very sneaky and cut his hair one little bit at a time while he is asleep. However, as he faces his fears to mark his journey into his teenage years, Aaryan has been for his first hair cut in a barber shop.
“This was one of my proudest days as a parent, seeing Aaryan overcome his fears and sensory issues to get this haircut. He has battled his anxieties and come out a winner.
“His journey has been a very long and traumatic one but we are nearing the end.
“Though he didn’t manage the full haircut he has learned to trust the barber enough to go back again.”
His mum explained that the haircut was just one of the challenges Aaryan has undertaken to raise £500 for the school.
She said: “He has also gone for a meal outside the family home, gone to the supermarket, and sat through public events. Before, that would have been unheard of.
“These may seem like trivial things to do but for Aaryan they are major achievements and we are so proud of him. They are also big steps in his development, and Kingspark has supported us in our journey.
“That is why together as a family we decided to try to raise money for the school.”
It’s not only Aaryan who has faced his fears. Pronita has just had her first tattoo to help her son’s fundraising efforts.
She said: “Aaryan is a Beatles fan, so in honour of this I had the words ‘all you need is love’ tattooed on my arm.
“I reckoned that if he could achieve so much then I could too.”