Toys R Us opens doors to autism-friendly Christmas shopping experience

Families aided with early opening hours, reduced fluorescent lighting and parent-led autism awareness trained staff.
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Toys R Us stores across the UK have opened their doors to an autism-friendly shopping experience, thanks to the efforts of one mother.

All 61 toy stores across the country took part in the initiative to open their doors early on one Sunday morning to families with children with autism.

The campaign was rallied was rallied by mother, Victoria Holdsworth who up until now has not been able to take her three year old son, Joe to a large toy shop for fear of him having a bad reaction to the busy environment.

“Children with autism often struggle with loud noises, strip lights and interacting with other children,” she told the BBC.

“It is much easier when they are surrounded by young people who are having similar difficulties and who understand the situation.”

On November, 30th this year, Toys R Us stores across England opened to families from 9am until 11am, with staff on hand to ensure quick and efficient access to tills for payment when the tills opened at 11am.

Staff were provided with parent-led autism awareness training, while the stores used reduced fluorescent lighting, no loud music or tannoy announcments.

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