On Sunday 6th, toy shop Toys R Us are holding an autism friendly shopping hour for families with children that are affected by the disability.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, it also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
The chain is offering the opportunity for families to enjoy an hour of browsing and discovering Christmas gift ideas, whilst experiencing an environment that is easier for children affected by autism.
Every store will make slight changes; lights will be dimmed whilst fluorescent lighting will be turned down where possible, music and tannoy announcements will also be switched off during the event to create a calming atmosphere.
Mike Coogan, Toys R Us Marketing and eCommerce Director said: “We understand toys are more personal to many additional needs individuals, so being able to relax and choose something special themselves and enjoy the facilities and content of the store the same as other children can do without concerns will help in making their Christmas truly magical”.
The annual event which began in 2014 was initiated by Toys R Us Leeds in collaboration with Victoria Holdsworth, founder of local autism group Autism friendly UK.
Daniel Cadey, autism access manager for the National Autistic Society, said: “ For many autistic people and their families a simple trip to the shops, which should be an enjoyable experience, can be fraught with difficulty. Simple changes like this can make a huge difference to the 700,000 autistic people in the UK.”
For residents in Gloucestershire, the event will be taking place at the Gloucester branch on St Ann Road.
The Store will open at 10am, 1 hour before the official opening time however customers cannot make purchases until 11am.