National Autism Hour provides welcome relief for families nationwide

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Shops and businesses are turning down the music and dimming the lights to spread autism awareness for the second annual National Autism Hour.

The campaign, organised by The National Autistic Society, is designed to make shopping in public more accessible for autistic individuals and their families. It will take place during the week of 6 October 2018.

“Certain triggers like loud music, certain colours or anything out of the ordinary can make [autistic people] aggressive. This project helps them have as normal of a life as possible by allowing all their special needs to be met in public spaces,” Rebecca Parker, a social worker from Islington said.

More than one per cent of the population of Britain has been formally diagnosed with autism, making it one of the most prevalent developmental disorders in the UK. According to the National Autistic Society, 79 per cent of autistic people feel socially isolated and 64 per cent of autistic people avoiding going to the shops.

Over 8,000 shops have signed up so far for the nationwide campaign; a dramatic increase on the previous years figure of just over 5,000. Fundraising is also expected to reach new record levels.