WUSA Channel 9 News: Autism in the Barber Shop / Beauty Salon
Hugs & High - Fives Everyone!
Sneak & I were invited to participate in a pretty cool training opportunity a few weeks ago- facilitated by my friend Shanté of Facing Autism with Children Everywhere - FACE.
Like Sneak, Shanté's son Dylan also has autism. They are loyal customers at Friendly Faces Kids Salon and Spa / Friendly Faces Barbershop in the Westfield Wheaton Mall, where Shanté trains the staff on how to work with the autism community. By doing this, she helps them understand how autism looks in their environment, and also how to interact with individuals on the spectrum.
This year, WUSA 9 filmed a segment around this initiative.
In order to give folks a real life example of what can occur when grooming a child with autism, she invited Sneak and I along! (Sneak and I appear halfway through the video). During the segment, Shanté was filmed training the staff, Dylan got his hair cut, and there is even a portion where Sneak explores the salon. Sneak also considers allowing someone - other than me - to touch her hair. (THIS is MAJOR!)
As I've shared before, Sneak lives with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, so washing & styling her hair is a labor of love for me. I would LOVE to be able to take her to another stylist - as I am the only person whom she allows to even touch her hair. The stylist at the shop was understanding and invited us back for a wash / style day. I am not sure when we will pay them a visit, but knowing that they'd welcome us makes me feel good.