Autism Shopping Hours

A daily "Autistic Friendly" hour. A required period of time, once per day, where supermarkets are "Autistic Friendly", reduce any bright lighting, loud music, till and self-service beeping.

Why the contribution is important

Prior to COVID-19, autistic shopping hours were limited, at best, to 1 hour on one morning. Morrisons, for example, had Saturdays from 09:00am to 10:00am. Others restricted it to one month, or a few weeks every year. Shopping, leaving the house, was difficult for some autistic people to begin with, and now with changes to routine etc, it is even more difficult. I'm not even sure if the hour is even honoured at this point, because a lot more things are going on. This will need to change, especially if online deliveries being fully booked is forcing autistic people to visit stores every time they need to shop. Other disabilities have legal requirements enforced because they need help. There should be more effort made to support autistic people. A lot of effort is put towards assisting young autistic people, which is commendable, but often adult autistic people are left to fend for themselves. I am not suggesting supermarkets enforce a similar style frontline staff/at-risk-people-only hour, as almost every supermarket has done, but to simply reduce the things, on a regular basis, that might be problematic for autistic people. The end result is that, even if few autistic people take advantage of the hour on any particular day, there is little impact to anyone else. And, perhaps, even non-autistic people may prefer a quieter store too. The positives of such an hour, on a regular basis, certainly outweigh the negatives. From a personal point of view, I am autistic and due to the sudden rise in online shopping, I have had to go to a store and it is painful and difficult and distressing, in ways difficult to articulate. If I was aware that, say, every day between 7-8pm is quiet and "autistic friendly" then that would dramatically reduce the stress that builds in the lead up to having to leave the house.

by a1b2c3 on May 07, 2020 at 09:40PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 7 votes


  • Posted by Dragon May 08, 2020 at 07:36

    I think this is a great idea. Right now, there is a lot more stress than normal on everybody and even people I am finding shopping stressful, even though I normally enjoy it. Making shopping less stressful would not only help with the shopping but it could help people stay calm overall.
  • Posted by hannah_smith May 10, 2020 at 20:03

    My autistic family member cannot go out unaccompanied. Most shops have been reasonable and let us in together (we are responsible and choose quiet times etc.) - but some are less so. *clearer guidance for shops on those with additional support needs* would be welcome.
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