autism hour

Why more shops need to have an Autism Hour

autism hour

From October 5th to October 12th Autism Hour will be returning for another year!

If you don’t know what Autism Hour is, it’s basically an hour where a business can make their environment autism-friendly.

That means turning off their music to keep it quiet, turn their lights down and everything else they can do to make everything relaxed.

I’m speaking from personal experience when I say that some shops are an absolute nightmare. Autism affects everyone differently from kids on the lower end of the spectrum who need to wear ear protectors when they go shopping to people who on the higher end.

Even before I was diagnosed with ASD I struggled with noises. Whenever I went into a supermarket I would literally cringe at the beeps coming from the checkouts, the loud music that can be blared in some and babies crying.

I love kids but hearing a full-on tantrum throughout really sets me on edge.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know Autism Hour existed until I saw a BBC segment with Connor Ward and Andy from The Chapman Family. It was so interesting to learn about and it made so much sense to me. The only question it left me with was ‘Why aren’t more shops doing this?!’

Unfortunately not many places around me seem to consider doing something like this but I’m going to try and change their minds. The National Autistic Society gives you a chance to write a letter to a shop and lets you tell them the reasons why they should do an Autism Hour. You can do the same if you want to help out too!

There are a few shops that I know which do an hour of quiet so I’ll include them down below for anyone who is autistic or has someone that knows someone:

  • Morrisons has ‘Quiet Hour’ on Saturdays between 9am – 10am
  • The Entertainer holds ‘quiet hours’ on the first hour of every Saturday

I honestly think that not only do more stores need to include quiet times but they need to do them more than just once a week. Not everyone can get to a store early in the morning so it would be better if they included weekdays too. They could also do with keeping music low, beeps low and other little things.

It doesn’t take a lot to do these to make shopping accessible for people and it would really help families who might already be struggling.

Have you heard about Autism Hour before? What are your thoughts about it?