PLEAS are being made for shops and leisure businesses in Dorset to become more autism friendly this Christmas.
Members of a Skills & Social Group run by regional charity Autism Wessex are leading the call to urge companies to be mindful of customers who may have autism, and their families, and look at how they can improve accessibility.
Armed with free Autism Friendly Guides produced by the charity, members of the group are joining supporters, staff and other individuals supported by the organisation in approaching shops and businesses across the region to raise awareness and understanding of autism.
Autism Wessex chief executive Siún Cranny said: “More than one in 100 people in the UK have autism, that’s over 7000 children and adults in Dorset alone. For someone with autism and their family, shopping and other leisure activities can be stressful. The noise, lights and crowds can be overwhelming and the feeling of being judged by others can make that anxiety worse.”