‘Quiet Hour’ to Benefit Shoppers With Special Needs

ASDA Living

A store manager in the U.K. recently decided to roll out a “quiet hour” at his ASDA Living store to benefit people with autism and other special needs. Simon Lea was moved to implement this new concept after witnessing a boy having what appeared to be a tantrum in the store a few weeks ago. Simon said the child was screaming and kicking and carrying on loudly, and the child’s mom, who looked “drained,” told him that her son has autism and was having a meltdown. Simon, who has two kids of his own, gave the boy a toy football to play with, which helped calm him down and enabled his mom to finish shopping.

Afterward, Simon was still considering the situation and wondering what he could do to help out customers with special needs. He talked to an employee who has a child with autism and to customers themselves, and came up with the idea of the quiet hour–a time when the escalators stop running and both the TV displays and the in-store music will be silenced. Additionally, there will be no use of the store-wide announcement system. Although the store may still have colorful displays of products, the overwhelming sounds will no longer be an issue during that one hour.

Simon is especially empathetic because he suffered from anxiety for years. “I used to absolutely hate going into busy stores,” he explained to the Manchester Evening News. Furthermore, he’s learned to judge less, saying, “Six months ago I would have said ‘control your child’ even though I’ve got children. But speaking to people with autism and disabled people has helped me think about how I can make it a better place to shop.”

The first quiet hour will be held on Saturday, May 7, at 8 a.m. The ASDA Living store is located in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

Rachel L. MacAulay

Founder at Challa & Haggis
Still learning that there’s no such thing as perfection in parenting, or in life, though I don’t stop trying. Avid reader; lapsed wanderer; reformed cynic. I believe every day should be filled with children’s laughter.

Related Posts

Moms Who Inspire Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate your Mom. It’s also a day to recognize other Moms. We started this site six years ago, and during that time, we hav...
Woodstock Chimes Autism Story Garry Kvistad, founder and owner of Woodstock Chimes, has won a GRAMMY® Award, played music with The Temptations and started an international company ...
What It’s Like to Have a Brother with Autism This video is honest, heartwarming and amazing. By far and away, this very well could be the best 6 minutes of your day. Describing the video, Spencer...
INADEQUATE – A Comic by Maeril This beautiful work of art was introduced to us today and we can not stop reading it. Produced by Maeril, a freelance art director & illustrator, ...
Parents Make a Mini Blockbuster Store for Their Au... Blockbuster declared bankruptcy back in 2010 and even though DISH Network bought the last stores in 2011, most of us just assumed that all Blockbuster...
Speechless with Carly Fleischmann and James Van De... Carly Fleischmann recently videotaped and posted Episode 2 of her successful "Speechless w/Carly Fleischmann" show, the first "non-verbal" talk show. ...
Amazing Things Happen – An Autism Video A beautiful video by the Amazing Autism Project explaining Autism to stimulate understanding and tolerance in future generations. An official selectio...
Autism Eats — (How to Start) Dining Out with Autis... Being a parent of a child with autism can be hard. I do not think this is a statement that breaks any new ground. We miss many of the things that on t...
Elementary Teacher Creates Sensory Chair for Stude... The Raymond Ellis Elementary School in Round Lake, Illinois, recently made waves on Facebook when it posted a photo of one of its teachers with the "s...
2017 NFL Pro Bowl to Be Autism-Friendly This Sunday, the NFL’s Pro Bowl will take place in Orlando, Florida. As the location of Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and more, Orlando i...
Dallas Symphony Orchestra to Hold Free Concert for... The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced that it will be performing a concert designed especially for children and adults on the autism spectrum ...
The Spectrum Toy Store: An Idea Whose Time Has Com... Last month, we let our community know about the Spectrum Toy Store, a toy store located in Chicago that catered specifically to children on the autism...