For most people, shopping is a mundane activity however for people with autism this could be a daunting task. This can create stress which then affects their behaviour and their ability to do day to day activities. They may feel frustrated and anxious, especially if it is a busy shop with lots of people with the risk of sensory overload.
How it feels
The National Autistic Society found that more than 60% of people avoided shops altogether. The TMI campaign did a short video which shows you what being in a shopping centre can feel like to some autistic people. Click HERE
For some, it can be difficult to understand the reason to go shopping. An autistic person may need some calm time after the over-stimulation of shopping. They may need to wind down in the car or the house afterwards. Give them time for this before asking them to do anything or go anywhere else that may increase stress levels again.
Autism hour in October
Morrison is introducing a “quiet hour”- Its 439 UK stores will dim lights, turn music off, avoid using the tannoy and turn check-out beeps down on Saturdays from 09:00 to 10:00. The charity is also encouraging retailers to take part in a nationwide “autism hour” in October.
Other shops and businesses will also be taking practical steps to help reduce anxiety and sensory overload for autistic shoppers such as Asda and Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s said more than 600 of its stores took part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour in October last year.
Hopefully the autism hour will bring benefits to others and allowing them to enjoy their shopping experience. What are your thoughts on this?
To read more about this story click HERE where Joanne Tang and her son Oscar share their experience.
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