We caught up with one of our content creators, Connor, who was diagnosed with autism at 18 years old.

He’s been sharing his experiences on his YouTube channel since 2016 and has worked with us on numerous campaigns, like Too Much Information. Below, Connor shares the positive shopping experience he had in Primark, and why other retailers should take note.

Why is Autism Hour important to you?

It means a lot more to me than simply just adapting the shopping experience. I think it’s a great representation of how the world is realising that simple changes can make a massive difference to many people.

What is a shopping experience like for you?

I normally try to shop online first to just avoid shopping all together. If I do actually have to go in, I make sure I go about 10/11 am when the shops are less busy. That only helps the crowds though, it's often a very uncomfortable experience sensory wise, bright lights, loud music, horrible really!

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

Yes! In Primark the other week actually. I was really struggling and knew I wouldn’t be able to face the mile long queue at the checkout so they alerted me to the fact that they actually have an access till. That means you just go straight up and get seen to instantly!

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

Mirroring Primark's system would be great. I was recently in H&M and there was a queue of about 30 people. My friend tried explaining that I wasn't going to be able to do it because I'm autistic and they had no clue how to act upon it. I had to go through that queue, there were even tears at one point, it would have been great if they were able to accommodate. Also please just get rid of club music in shops. If I wanted to listen to club music I'd go to a nightclub, it makes me incredibly anxious having a thudding noise constantly going while I'm simply trying to shop.

Check out Connor's Autism Hour review from last year:

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The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, supported by The Entertainer