Pet store’s hour for autistic
PETS at Home in Southport has once again teamed up with leading charity the National Autistic Society to hold an autism hour this Saturday (October 13).
The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour was launched last year as the first mass-participation event to encourage shops to be more inclusive, by providing autistic people with a break from the usual information overload often found in stores.
Southport is one of 440 plus Pets at Home stores in the UK that will be holding their autism hour for the first hour of the day, taking simple steps to make the store more autism friendly – from dimming the lights, turning down music and till bells and sharing information about the condition with employees.
With around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, as well as three million family members and carers, Pets at Home will be welcoming these local families to the store to enjoy an hour of shopping dedicated to meeting their needs, as they can experience the world in a different, often more intense way to other people.
People with the condition can find social situations difficult and might struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which can make busy public places, like shops, overwhelming.
Research by the National Autistic Society found that 64% of autistic people sometimes avoid going to the shops because the environment isn’t sensitive to their needs.
John Gannon, store manager at Pets at Home Southport, said: “We are proud to be supporting this fantastic initiative once again.
“We know it makes such a difference to the lives of some of our customers and their families who want to shop for their pets.”