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ASDA rolls out 'quiet hour' for autistic shoppers across 8 more stores after successful trial

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After the initial success of the ASDA 'quiet hour' to help autistic children feel more comfortable in store, at least eight other shops will be rolling out a similar program.

The ASDA superstore in Manchester Cheetham Hill introduced the 'quiet hour' last Saturday - turning off all escalators, tannoy announcements, music and display televisions to help those with autism struggling to shop.

Manager Simon Lea said the trial had been a great success and he had positive feedback from those involved; ‘The store was silent, and we had great feedback from the families who benefited. Now it will be a regular event for us – every Saturday.'

Simon added; ‘We have eight other stores on board now at Manchester Fort who will be doing the same.'



The idea of a quiet hour was first introduced by Simon, who was inspired after seeing a child with autism struggling during a shopping trip.

'This boy was playing absolute blue murder, kicking and screaming. His mum looked drained. She told me he suffers from autism. He was having a meltdown,' Simon told the Manchester Evening News.

After speaking to a colleague who has an autistic child Simon worked out the plan to try and make their shopping environment a little bit easier.

Simon said: 'It's all about helping people really. 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.

'I suffered for many years with anxiety. I used to absolutely hate going into busy stores. There are a lot of people out there who have mental health issues. There are many people who don't talk about it.'

It looks like the idea is a popular one, with Manchester Evening News reporting that when they first published the story on their Facebook page it had 800 likes and over 300 comments.

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