Here at The National Autistic Society, we're always eager to share stories where autistic people and their families have been treated with a great deal of compassion in public places.

Alfie Deyes

Last week, Emily from Portsmouth posted a thank you message on Instagram after a day out with her brother at an Alfie Deyes book signing event in Brighton. Alfie has previously fundraised for The National Autistic Society so we were delighted to hear that he is still supporting the autistic community.

Emily had travelled with her autistic brother, Harry, to Brighton to attend the vlogger’s book signing. After a long journey, Harry became overwhelmed and restless from the queues but upon learning that Harry is autistic, the WHSmith staff were both attentive and thoughtful and took the siblings to the front of the queue to meet Alfie.

Following on from the positive experience with the staff, Emily was delighted when Alfie was also patient and understanding with Harry. Emily’s touching tweet expressed gratitude to Alfie for having a photo taken with her brother and even sharing a wave with him.  

Emily's Tweet.

There are more than 1 in 100 people in the UK on the autism spectrum, and many struggle to cope with unfamiliar places, sights and sounds which others are able to filter out, such as artificial lighting, loud music or large crowds. This is another example of the positive results that can be achieved when employees and the public understand autism and take simple steps and adjustments to making experiences more autism friendly.