Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let's talk about autism in public spaces

Ashley Bays took her toddler into M Spa Salon in Portage, Michigan, for a simple haircut but left with a "severe tongue lashing," according to a witness whose Facebook post about the event went

Customer Vanessa Hunt wrote about her outrage at watching salon owner Michelle Mott allegedly dress down Bays and 2 ½-year-old Grayson because the child cried during his haircut.
"At the conclusion of this woman's tantrum to the mother the mother said through tears, 'I'm so sorry, he's autistic,'" Hunt wrote in a post that has been shared more than 35,000 times. Attorneys for the salon said in a statement to that Mott reacted reasonably to safety concerns caused by the boy's behavior.

Many toddlers cry during a visit to the hair salon, but the experience can be particularly challenging for individuals with the sensory sensitivities that are common in autism. I know, because my son is one of them.

Haircuts require a patient stylist, a special list of instructions, books to read and a fresh shirt to change into immediately afterward. If it weren't for the promise of a lollipop at the end of the haircut, he might not go into the salon at all.

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