BBC panel discussion

We were delighted to be invited onto the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show to discuss Autism Hour earlier this week. In case you missed it, we've written this short news story to relay what happened. Thanks to all the panellists and everyone else who helped make this happen. 

"For autistic people, the world can sometimes seem just too full of information," begins the video.

First we follow vlogger Kevin and his autistic son Andy, who tells us about how Andy manages the stresses of shopping, including filming and taking lots of lifts. 

We continue to then meet another vlogger, Connor Ward, who explains how he can find shopping challenging with difficulties such as club music, perfume counters, other people and pigeons. 

Kevin Chapman and Connor Ward

We then visit an Autism Hour, with Kevin and Andy in an Entertainer store and Connor chats to a Manager at Schuh. Connor continues to set a challenge to all stores: "If they could do that once a year, why can’t they do that once a week, or once a day even. It didn’t take them that much effort but would make a lot of difference to a lot of people."  Ps Connor, we couldn’t agree more!

The video then goes back to the studio, where presenter Victoria Derbyshire introduces the panel: Kevin, who we met in the video, Florence Leslie and on the end, Tom Purser, father of an autistic child and Head of Campaigns at the National Autistic Society.

Tom Purser and Florence Leslie

The panel discuss the video they have seen with Andy and Connor and why our campaign Autism Hour is so important. Florence talks about her experience: "I was diagnosed at 21, which is quite late, it was investigated when I was younger, but we were told she’s just quirky. She will grow out of it. So because of that, I learnt to repress my autistic traits. I would enjoy shopping with my friends but I am sensitive to bright lights and noise so I would just learn to deal with it and shut it down.”

Tom rounded off the conversation with what we want to do: "What we want to do at the National Autistic Society is create a society which really works for autistic people and what Autism Hour is about, is creating a moment. Yes it is about making shops more accessible, it’s about reducing the lights, dimming down that noise, and it is also about creating a time where people working in shops are thinking about the needs of their autistic customers."

Watch the full interview 

The interview starts at 1:46. This recording will be available for 29 days from 8 October 2018.

Campaigns like Autism Hour are so important. Show your support by donating via our JustGiving page

Learn more about Autism Hour or find your local participating stores here.

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