More and more public places are considering kids with autism when it comes to their hours of operation and standard operating procedures. What this means is that not only are some movie theaters offering showings that feature the lights being up higher than during a typical movie, but also having the movie volume play at a slightly lower level than one might usually see. Then there are the stores that have chosen to offer what they are calling quiet hours of shopping for children with autism and their families.
In a season that often sees stores crowded full of last-minute shoppers running back and forth looking for the perfect gift or holiday treat, it can often be overwhelming for any autistic person dealing with these crowds. However, for children in particular, the experience can be downright impossible. By offering some simple changes it can make all the difference in allowing a family to shop for the holidays.
In an effort to help families with children who have autism, some stores, such as Toys R Us and Target, are offering special quiet hours for them to get through their holiday shopping, according to Consumerist. With sensory stimulants being such a big problem, these stores have chosen to offer special shopping hours between 6 a.m.and 8 a.m. in stores. These quiet hours will consist of keeping the music off in the store, having the lights dimmed from their usual brightness and even working to keep much of the action in store to a minimum.
According to CNN, the stores are offering special shopping days, as well as events in order to accommodate families with children who have autism. While places like Target and Toys R Us will be offering these quiet hours of shopping in some stores, they have indicated that they will not be rolling this out to all of their stores. Instead, it will happen in certain locations, such as one that has been confirmed in Pennsylvania.
However, while not all stores will offer these special shopping events, that does not mean that customers can not request a similar shopping experience. Target has apparently indicated that customers are welcome to speak to their store managers or what is known as a store’s team leader in order to request the special quiet hours for families who have children with autism. The company said that they have empowered all of their stores to make the kinds of decisions they need in order to better serve their communities, as well as their consumers’ needs.
What do you think of the quiet hours shopping events being offered by some stores? Do you want to see more stores offer this? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
By Dorothea James