Autism Friendly Shopping Event 6th November in Toys R Us Stores

26 October 2016
Autism Friendly Shopping Event @ Toys R Us

If you know anyone with children with autism or additional needs this will come as great news to them. On November 6th every Toys R Us* store in the UK will be holding an autism friendly and additional needs exclusive shopping event.

Every Toys R Us* store will open up for one hour before the usual store opening time exclusively for parents and carers of children with autism and additional needs in a special Christmas shopping event.

Stores will have lights dimmed, fluorescent lighting reduced, music and Tannoy announcements switched off and autism friendly signing introduced. There will also be a quiet zone available for anyone needing to take some time out.

The idea is to give families the opportunity to browse for an hour before the stores officially open, to help them to explore Christmas gift ideas and experience an everyday environment that may not always be easy for children affected by autism to cope with under normal store conditions.

Due to Sunday Trading legislation stores in England are unable to perform any sales transactions until the official opening time at 11am, but to save parents having to wait with their children they are also being offered the opportunity to return later that morning to pay for shopping, which they may also want to do to avoid buying gifts in front of their children.

Daniel Cadey, autism access manager for the National Autistic Society, said: "For many autistic people and their families a simple trip to the shops, which should be an enjoyable experience, can be fraught with difficulty. Autistic children and adults can become overwhelmed with too much information inside a busy store. Things like artificial lighting and loud Tannoy announcements can increase their anxiety and be completely overwhelming, even causing them physical pain. So we are delighted that Toys R Us is again showing the way by hosting an autism friendly shopping event in every Toys R Us store in the lead up to Christmas.

"Staff who understand autism will be on hand to help, and the lighting and amplified sound levels will be reduced to lessen the impact on autistic customers. Simple changes like this can make a huge difference to the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and to their families. We hope that many more major retailers will follow the great example set by Toys R Us."

This event was massively popular last year, and proved to be a huge success with families. We think it is a wonderful idea and applaud Toys R Us for holding this autism friendly shopping event again.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This event will last 1 hour in each store. Please refer to the times indicated below:

England and Wales 10am to 11*am,
Scotland 9am to 10*am,
Northern Ireland 12am to 1*pm.

*There may be exceptional times in some Shopping Centres - for more information on your local event, please contact your local Toys R Us store.

If you know anyone who might find this information useful please pass it on.

TOPICS:   News and Recalls

69 comments

  • Charlie M.

    Awww excellent that's so cool. Thank you xx

  • Danielle L.

    Shame we can't get there on a Sunday

  • Gemma P.

    Ah ye true. Mind you why would you take him Xmas shopping with you anyways unless so he can show what he'd like x

  • Danielle L.

    Ye I wouldn't buy any with him there id most prob tell him Santa told us t come have look n give them to his elves lol (the workers lol) u can do that storage thing in there now can't you

  • Gemma P.

    Yea think so. They do price match too

  • Kara-Alicia L.

    Oh I wondered if they would do the same again this year but didn't know date :) thank you for the tag! May have to take jack and let him chose his Xmas presents as he's the only one I haven't bought for yet as he's the most difficult to buy for x

  • Adele F.

    Thanks :blush: will keep it in mind ,depends on how many families go and how loud other' are lol can handle his own

  • Lesleyann M.

    I wouldn't take my kids shopping with me when buying prezzies hun. Thanks though xx

  • Shanice W.

    Oh great thanks chic :grinning:xx

  • Katy- L.

    Thanks luv !! Il take him to spend his birthday money he loves it when they have there autism days xxx

  • Stephanie R.

    Wow i didnt know they did this it would be great.. guess were we are going lol

  • Gemma V.

    Or it something that we could do everyday just buy learning a little bit about autism

  • Tracy R.

    What about all other special needs children

    • Eljoma

      In what way Tracy? The stores are accessible for those with physical disability already and this day isn't exclusively for those with autism. Any disability where these alterations to the usual shopping experience help could benefit from it.

  • Androulla B.

    Been to that before its ok they do a good job but not for crimbo shopping don't want them knowing what I bought lol xx

  • Ellie Z.

    Ah brilliant thank u :kissing_heart::kissing_heart::kissing_heart: xxx

  • Natalie B.

    Great idea. More places need to do this :blush:

  • Amy B.

    That's great thanks a lot! X

  • Alison F.

    How cool is that thanks for letting me know babesxxx

  • Natasha G.

    Gonna take him, last treat before Christmas xxx

  • Gillian M.

    This is the only shop ronan doesn't care if it's mobbed. ....... he says it's full of his friends lol xxx

  • Michelle P.

    if you like the playpennies page it not only tells you about events but doscount toys and sales really handy with Xmas coming up x

  • Keshia H.

    Think this should be a time when parents can actually purchase the gifts. If the parents can only browses and not purchases anything till after 11am then I don't see the point. My son for one would have a melt down if I had to leave the shop without a car , or come back again later in the day when it would be really busy to stand in line and purchase the items

    • Kerry C.

      My thoughts exactly, but at least they are offering something xx

    • Lorna R.

      Where does it say you can't buy things at the shopping event?

    • Stacey G.

      Lorna Render.. it says its before the store is open so the shop will go straight back to normal as soon as it gets to 11am.

    • Hayley C.

      Hang on... so you cant buy anything???

  • Natalie S.

    Still wouldn't dare take him he want the whole shop :joy: xxx

  • Sasha K.

    Great idea but may I ask Why only ONE hour for ONE day????

  • Laura B.

    Need more than an hour! Have you tried shopping with an autistic child

  • Sarah T.

    Haha a few things always turn into a massive list :joy::joy:xxxx

  • Linda M.

    Thanks hen i still widnae venture somewhere like that wae her. Xx

  • Lyla N.

    Sounds really good thank u xx

  • Sarah B.

    Ahh thank you. Will defiantly take mason with me. Xx

  • Linda M.

    Aye if a win the lottery a will thats only way cos i widnae get out alive unless i got everything she wanted aswell :joy::joy:

  • Ally R.

    i love this and what makes it more great is that its his birthday that day! xxx

  • Karen B.

    Brilliant opportunity for a meltdown - too noisy & you can't purchase owt til 11. Ah, the irony

  • Emma-Louise W.

    Is it in watford toy r us shop

  • Rhiannon P.

    Wonder which toys Jacob would go too. Xx

  • Bronagh M.

    Can everyone tell me is this a good idea? I know my son would have a melt down looking things from the shop

  • Howard M.

    Why One Hour???? whoever has organised this clearly dose not know anything about autism or autistic children.

  • Laura H.

    Thank you chick that's great xx

  • Jude H.

    Brill thank you missus xx

  • Jessica B.

    Thats so great!! Oooo exciting, have a lovely time! xx

  • Kaley S.

    Can't believe how many negative comments there are. Is it not a positive thing that autism is becoming widely recognised ? Ok it's not perfect having just the hour or not being able to pay til 11am but it's a start. It might not be for every child or adult on the spectrum but if this helps one family enjoy their shopping experience without being apprehensive or nervous about taking their child into a large shop then surely it's worth it??

  • Emily C.

    Thanks! I'm going shopping on Tuesday and she'll be at school during the day it does make things a lot easier that way x

  • Sarah D.

    Oh yea Hun away to look into this xxx

  • Leah W.

    I saw it I shared it in the autism group im in x x

  • guest

    My actual god! Stop ya god damn wingeing if u think an hour isnt enough dont go you bunch of ungrateful negative b*****ds! Cant do out decent for people these days! No wonder this world is so f**ked up people thinking there owed the world Absolutely disgraceful some of these comments....

  • Jon M.

    Not sure how this will work, do you have to prove your child is on the spectrum? Got a feeling this maybe violated somehow

  • Lynn A.

    never been to one - lou's not into toys these days but they are a brilliant idea and it's great to see so many stores are doing this sort of thing now - i could never take lou to places like meadowhall because it would be a total overload to him

  • Nicola S.

    This is a brilliant idea! My daughter is on the Autistic spectrum but things mentioned in the article don't really bother her but for people who are its a fantastic idea .

  • Sonja B.

    I'm just about done. But I'm not sure I'd want to take Callum while the magic is still alive. Maybe when he's older and no longer believes.......

  • Dawn A.

    Awww that's lovely idea. He loved Smyths toy store last week but it was busy x

  • Ashley C.

    It's a great idea although it's only from 10-11 which is quite sad x

  • Kelly C.

    Lovely idea but being that it's only for hour surely they could do it every Sunday in the run up to Xmas and wudnt it b nice if they kept the lights and music etc the same till 11.15 so if the children was able to get a small toy with pocket money etc they could buy it without stress and worry, I mean I don't thing it get really busy in 15 mins so b nice to keep lights etc same to allow them to pay for there items x

  • Colleen M.

    What are they doing then? Just letting you go in for a look and then expect you to go back at another time to buy?! That's not good! Like you say, it may be good for some families. Suppose the good thing is that awareness is growing...might be growing slowly but least it's growing :relaxed:

  • Kirstie W.

    Will probably be the busiest hour of the whole xmas period

  • Gretchen C.

    This is an awesome idea. Hopefully the stores in the US will start doing it.

  • Iona M.

    Brilliant idea. Shame it's only for the hour

  • Charlie W.

    Yeah I saw it yesterday. We may actually get to take him to a toy shop without a total meltdown. What a novelty! Xxx

  • Rebecca W.

    It's such a lovely idea, for parents as well. All the parents there will know what it's like so no judgemental looks from ignorant people! Xx

  • Sarah H.

    Thank you :) could spend a fortune :)

  • Carol W.

    This is fantastic! But come on Toys R Us make it an even more magical Christmas by having this event for an hour every week to Christmas !!

  • Samantha R.

    I'm working :pensive: hopefully they do another one xox

  • Claire M.

    I seen it I think it's a great idea :bulb::kissing_heart:

  • Sonja S.

    Thank you for this info xxx were off in the morning!

    • Rebecca E.

      Wish I'd seen this sooner , already spent this week's Xmas stuff online , I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for next one, asda r doing it aswell xxx

  • Beccy H.

    I love this idea !!! Xx might even brave it xx

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