April 2: World Autism Awareness Day

By Rosanne Ullman | 03/23/2014 3:14:00 PM


Has a parent ever walked into your salon with an autistic child who needs a hair cut? If so, you know that it would be helpful for the hairdresser to be prepared. A neurological disorder that affects the way a person sees the world, communicates and interacts with other people, autism in children has increased more than 70 percent since 2007, affecting one in every 88 U.S. births and nearly one in 54 boys, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The symptoms of autism vary according to the individual; nevertheless, in consideration of World Autism Awareness Day this week and National Autism Awareness Month throughout April, Healthy Hairdresser offers some general tips for serving the autistic client:

*Speak in a calm, low voice.

*Do not surprise the child from behind.

*Keep directions simple.

*If you give a direction or ask a question, be patient. Before following the instruction or responding, some individuals with autism need time to process the information or question.

click image to zoomPhotography by Tsahi Moscovich for Getty Images














These tips are included in a special “Haircutting Training Guide” available from Autism Speaks. The guide was developed in collaboration with Snip-Its kids’ salons. Autism Speaks also offers the Little Star Hairdresser Story App, a story parents can customize with their own photos to prepare an autistic child about what to expect at the salon. This is something you might want to share with any clients who you know have an autistic child.

Please email Healthy Hairdresser at rullman@vancepublishing.com if you have stories about your clients or your own family dealing with autism.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosanne Ullman

Rosanne Ullman, Project Editor | Modern Salon Media

Rosanne has been writing for the salon division of Vance Publishing for more than 30 years, contributing landmark articles ranging from a year-long historical series in the 1990s marking MODERN SALON's 75th anniversary to a more recent, comprehensive tribute to Vidal Sassoon's impact on the industry. She was involved in the conceptual planning for First Chair and has directed several of Modern Salon Media's custom publishing projects. Rosanne holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's famed Medill School and contributes to her community through three elected terms on her local school board.

Rosanne is our go-to provider for Modern Salon Media's Healthy Hairdresser e-newsletter. You can e-mail Rosanne Ullman at rullman@vancepublishing.com.


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