Discrimination or miscommunication? Mom of boy with Down syndrome upset over email from hair salon

NEW BERLIN -- Discrimination or a miscommunication? An Oak Creek mother is upset after her son's haircut appointment was canceled, and it's the reason why that's the issue.

Katlyn Oelke

"I was upset when I got the email," Katlyn Oelke said.

The email came from the owner of "A Hair For Kids Salon" in New Berlin -- canceling a hair appointment made online for her son Matthew, who has Down syndrome. The email said, in part, the stylist booked felt the haircut service was not a "good fit" for Oelke's needs. Oelke said she shared the email online.

"When everybody was just in uproar about it -- because basically how we took it is discrimination against a child with disabilities," Oelke said.

Email to Katlyn Oelke from owner of "A Hair For Kids Salon" in New Berlin

Email to Katlyn Oelke from owner of "A Hair For Kids Salon" in New Berlin

It blew up on social media.  Some said they wrote bad reviews about the salon online.

The owner tried to explain, even telling FOX6 News their notes on Matthew listed how he reacts to haircuts, and the stylist Oelke booked didn't think she could handle him.

Katlyn Oelke's son Matthew

"Basically, that was all that it was about is the stylist that was able to work with a child that's moving, because we don't want to injure anybody," Justine Rossey, hairstylist said.

Justine Rossey

Rossey, who has cut Matthew's hair in the past, said she wasn't available during the appointment time. Oelke said the owner should've explained all of this, instead of sending a vague message.

"Yeah, that's all. If she would have called, explained her concerns -- because not once was safety brought up until people were getting at her," Oelke said.

Rossey said it's just a big misunderstanding, and the online booking system is part of the blame because it doesn't sort the right stylists with the needs of the customers.

"A Hair For Kids Salon" in New Berlin

"A Hair For Kids Salon" in New Berlin

"And I get it. He can be difficult. But he's afraid. It's not like he's destructive. It's not like he's hurting anybody," Oelke said.

Katlyn Oelke's son Matthew

Rossey said she'd love to cut Matthew's hair again, and called his mom to tell her that. Oelke said she's open to working through this, but she'd like a phone call from the owner.