Hannah Molesworth headshot and quoteMeet Hannah Molesworth, autistic woman, part time model, and Papa Roach fan! Hannah's claim to fame is that she once spoke to Fearne Cotton over the phone, whilst Fearne was a presenter on the TV series Diggit

Hannah talked to us about Autism Hour and why she finds shopping trips overwhelming. She also opened up about her Ikea based wardrobe malfunction. 

Follow Hannah on Twitter to keep up with all her latest adventures. 

Why is Autism Hour important to you?

It provides a basis for inclusivity and understanding which is what I crave after being diagnosed age 23 and not even understanding myself. 

What is a shopping experience like for you?

Stressful, overwhelming, panic inducing. It’s like a military operation. I have to get in and get what I want and leave before I have a meltdown. I usually do it online to avoid the outside times. It’s too peopley out 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?

Yes, in Ikea! I climbed inside a wardrobe because I was overwhelmed. I then broke the wardrobe. But when I said I was overwhelmed, they tried to help me calm down. And they were super chill about the broken wardrobe.  

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

Turn music down. Have bigger gaps between displays so it isn’t so crowded and people don’t come so close to me. Have less signage, there are often irrelevant bits of information everywhere and I end up getting distracted and over stimulated! 

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