Autism Awareness Week takes place 1 – 7 April. Retailers can take part by introducing a ‘quiet hour’ for autistic shoppers who struggle with music and noise.
The National Autistic Society (NAS) says there are 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK, who “see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, often in a more intense way”.
What shops can do for a ‘quiet hour’
– no music
– no sudden noises or noise such as hoovering, stacking shelves etc.
– staff to be aware of possible sensitivity to light, especially fluorescent
– staff to have an understanding of autism and how it effects family life
Please click HERE for advice on providing quiet hours. The NAS Bristol Branch can also provide some training and information on autism.
What NAS Bristol Branch can do to help
The NAS Bristol Branch will advertise the stores who take part on the NAS website – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are offering quiet hours in your shop.
They will also share positive feedback from their Facebook members when they have had good experiences in a shop that provided a quiet hour, including what it meant to their family.
The bigger picture and why its so valuable to families
These events are important because families with an autistic member are far from ordinary, and as well as raising awareness, they allow the families to feel ordinary for just a little while.
Although Autism Awareness Week is in April, quiet hours are welcome all year round, particularly at ‘back to school’ time.