Sensory-friendly outings have become a popular trend in 2016, and we couldn’t be happier!
A Costco in Illinois recently announced that they will be hosting sensory-friendly shopping events for people on the autism spectrum. This type of program has already been done in stores like Target and Toys R Us, as well as at restaurant chains like Chuck-E-Cheese’s.
The wholesale super center has a lot in common with other stores who are working in this direction. Crowded isles, free sample smells and gatherings, and far too many displays for even a person who doesn’t struggle with sensory processing or autism are just a few of the reasons that Costco would normally be a recipe for disaster. Such distractions can be overwhelming and frustrating for people on the autism spectrum.
In an effort to make the designated shopping events sensory-friendly, the warehouse plans to remove all visual displays, and turn the lights down for minimal fluorescent stress.
“It’s really helpful for stores to reduce the odors, reduce the sounds, reduce the distractions that make it really hard for children as well as adults,” explains Jim Runyon, a spokesperson for an autism advocacy group called Easter Seals.
At this particular Costco location, the quiet hours will begin at 8 a.m. and go until 9:30 a.m. We can only hope that more stores and locations continue to implement these events, and accommodate ALL of their customers with these awesome strategies.