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Pets at Home in Ipswich to hold autism hour

PUBLISHED: 11:44 04 October 2018

Pets at Home will be hosting an autism hour Picture: GREGG BROWN

Pets at Home will be hosting an autism hour Picture: GREGG BROWN

The National Autistic Society is asking shops and businesses to be more autism friendly after discovering 64% of people with the condition avoid going into stores.

Pet supplies retailer, Pets at Home, in Ipswich is set to host an autism friendly hour next week.

The branch is working with the National Autistic Society to hold the 60 minutes on Saturday, October 13.

During this time lights will be dimmed, music and tills will be turned down and employees will be provided with information on the disorder.

David White, store manager at Pets at Home Ipswich, 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.

“For the first hour of the day on Saturday, October 13, we will be providing a relaxed, stress free, autism-friendly space for our customers.”

People with the condition can find social situations difficult and might struggle to filter the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which can make busy public places, like shops, overwhelming.

Hundreds of shops and businesses all over Suffolk have signed up to participate, you can find out which ones by viewing the interactive map here.

Mark Lever, chief executive at the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many well-known high street retailers have already signed up – and are ready to make the world a more autism friendly place.

“Autistic people represent a huge part of our society and shockingly, 28% of autistic people have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism. They and their families want and deserve to have the opportunity to go to the shops, just like anyone else.

“The National Autistic Society want a world which works for autistic people. With Autism Hour, we want to show retailers the small things they can do to help open up the high street for autistic people. It’s often the smallest change that makes the biggest difference.”

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