A South Yorkshire salon has been praised for its work with autistic children, at a monthly ‘quiet salon’ day.
Georgia Bell, who runs Twisted Scissors in Rotherham, introduced the monthly sessions last May, which now regularly accommodate around 20 autistic children and their parents.
And the salon owner, who is herself a mum-of-three, says the sessions are now one of the most satisfying parts of her job.
“I have friends who have children on the autistic spectrum, and I know just how traumatic things like haircuts can become,” said Georgia, aged 30.
“I decided to offer one day a month where we did things differently specifically for children with autism; we eliminate as much noise as we can, so no music, and no smells. We have lots of toys around for the kids to play with, unlimited lollies and sweet cones, and coffee for the parents.
“We allowed an hour for every appointment in the beginning, to give children the chance to have a look around the salon, get to know us and introduce them to things slowly. Trust takes time, and in some cases it took a few sessions before we got anywhere near cutting any actual hair, but as we build a relationship up with the children, they get more comfortable and confident and it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come now. Most of our original appointment slots have been halved, as the children we see regularly are much happier to get on with it, though they often stay and play afterwards with all the toys, and I think it’s a nice break for parents too.
“There have been a lot of tears shed at these sessions, the parents mainly when they see the progress their little ones are making, and mine too.”
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