Farmington, New Mexico – Utopia Salon offers haircuts for people with autism or other sensory issues.
The New Mexico Autism Society of San Juan County partnered with a local salon to ease the hair cutting process for autistic people. The service will be provided once a month and launches today. Utopia Salon Manager Luca Giovannini and stylist, Jessica Radojits, will be the only ones in the salon during the arranged two hours. Only two clients will be present at any time and the environment will be calm and music-free.
Getting hair cuts and nails clipped are two of the biggest challenges for many parents with children on the autism spectrum.
Talking to The Daily Times, Sarah Shelby, who on the board for the local autism group and the mother of a 12-year-old son with autism said,
“For most people, going to get your hair cut is like taking a break. It’s relaxing. But for people with autism, the laughter and chatter, along with the noise of the hairdryers and the sensation of the clipper vibrations can actually be painful.
“Often, Shelby tried to cut her son’s hair at home to minimize the sensory overload, but she occasionally had to take him in for a professional cut.
“It used to take three or four people to hold him down while he’d get his hair cut, and it would just kill me every single time.He would just scream and scream, and it was so traumatic.”
When approached by Shelby, Giovannini told The Daily Times he was more than willing to participate,
“I used to have a salon in Durango, and there were several clients who had similar issues who would come in regularly to see me.”
Source: The Daily Times