I hate shopping. I hate the crowds, I hate the too many choices, I hate the noise, I hate the rush…. The only time I enjoy it is if I am on holiday in a small town, with small shops, relatively few goods and maybe a nice weekly food market. But this is just my personal preference; all that happens to me if I have to shop is that I get grumpy and horrid to know.
But what if all those crowds and all that noise did not just annoy you but really distressed you? What if you got so anxious when faced with a self scanning till that you would do almost anything to avoid it. In fact, if it distressed you to the point that you would only shop in quiet but expensive corner shops or put up with a permanent diet of ‘out of date custard and Marmite for tea’ rather than face a supermarket?
Simon Lea, the manager of the Cheetham Hill Asda, recently watched an autistic child struggle to cope with the supermarket environment. He has now suggested that shops, starting with his own, should have a quiet hour with all extraneous noise (muzak, TVs, tannoy announcements etc) turned off for the benefit not just of autistic people but of anyone who finds shopping in noisy, crowded shops stressful.
This eminently sensible suggestion has been picked up by a lot of the media and has prompted a number of pieces by noise sufferers. The one I was pointed to by Alex was by Sarah Hendrickx, an autistic herself. It gives a very enlightening insight into just how mind blowingly awful shopping can be for an autistic person. Do read ‘Quiet please, I’m trying to find the biscuits.’
So I’ll now stop complaining and just get on with it. Well, actually, I won’t – I’ll just go on buying everything on line and having it delivered too my door!! The ultimate shop-haters escape.