Manchester, England. Simon Lea is the manager of the Cheetham Hill branch of Asda, a popular supermarket in the area. And he’s the toast of the town after his unique but brilliant idea has revolutionized shopping for autistic children and their families.
He will be introducing a very special ‘quiet hour’ in his store, once a week. It’ll be a time that allows parents of autistic children to take their kids grocery shopping free from the usual noise and distractions that can cause them so many issues. There will be no music, TV, announcements or loud noises.
Simon explains his inspiration: “This boy was playing absolute blue murder, kicking and screaming. His mum just looked drained. She told me he suffers from autism. He was having a meltdown,” Simon told UK newspaper the Manchester Evening News.
He ended up coming up with the idea of calming the child down by giving him a £1 football for free. “This lad looked at me and he started playing with the football. His mum was the happiest I have ever seen anyone and just for giving him a football,” said Simon. And he kept thinking about how difficult it must be for the woman and others like her.
Being an autistic child in a busy environmental really can be stressful. Here’s an insight into what it’s like: