Meet Barry Aldridge, autistic man, YouTuber and the world's most dedicated Doctor Who fan! Barry discusses Doctor Who, Daleks and autism in his article Doctor Who, Autism and Me, and talks openly about the positives and negatives of life on the autistic spectrum.

You can find Barry on Twitter and Instagram. Also be sure to check out his YouTube channel which includes many a Doctor Who video review, as well as some insightful interviews with his fellow YouTubers. 

We had the pleasure of catching up with Barry as he shared with us his shopping experiences and offers a few useful tips on how shops can make small changes to help autistic people. 

Why is Autism Hour important to you?

Autism Hour is important because I feel it helps to highlight autism awareness, and demonstrates that autism is not as simple as people may think. 

What is a shopping experience like for you?

Shopping experiences can be really good but when a lot goes on in the shop it can turn into hell and I can have a real meltdown. I used to work in a shop and when it gets really busy it can be really stressful. When there are a lot of people about in a shop and a lot of noise I would leave the shop if I wasn't working there.

Have you ever experienced a time when a member of staff/shop has made an effort to be understanding of autism or a sensory issues?

I used to work with someone at my workplace who was very understanding about my condition and made sure I was ok to get on with my work. He made sure that I could focus on certain parts of the job at a time. 

What could shops do to make the experience better for you?

I would advise them to make sure that the noise levels are down really low and make sure that employees are trained in how to respond to an autistic customer who may be having a meltdown.

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