THERE will be a special two hours of calm at Crystal Peaks on Sunday, October 7 as the award winning shopping mall takes part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hours.
There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, as well as three million family members and carers.
Being autistic means seeing, hearing and feeling the world in a different, often more intense way to other people.
Autistic people often find social situations difficult and can struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which can make busy public places, like shops, overwhelming.
As a result, 64 per cent of people with autism avoid things like going to the shops, quite often because of the bright lights, the music, the general noise and the information overload.
But on Sunday October 7 from 10am to noon Crystal Peaks shopping centre will be asking shops to implement a range of simple solutions to make the shopping experience easier for people living with autism.
Those will range from dimming bright lights and reducing tannoy announcements to turning down music, creating a calmer Sunday shopping experience.
“Crystal Peaks is very much a part of the community and, as such, we want to make the shopping experience the best we can for all visitors,” said centre manager Lee Greenwood.
“These are very simple measures that we will be implementing and asking our shops to implement too but the two hours of simple changes could have a big positive impact for autistic people and their families without causing any problems for our other visitors.”