THE National Autistic Society has stated the importance of organisations making ‘reasonable adjustments’ after a mum from Droitwich claimed staff at a garden centre told her they wouldn’t allocate a time for her family to visit so her disabled son wouldn’t have to wait in a queue - which she says would greatly unsettle him.

Tom Purser, head of campaigns at the National Autistic Society said: “It’s so important that facilities and venues make reasonable adjustments for autistic people and their families.

“For many autistic people, the unpredictability of long waits and the loud noise of busy crowds can be really distressing, especially if they experience sensory overload. So, small reasonable changes such as providing a quiet or autism hour for autistic customers or an accessible route through a busy shop could make a huge difference.

“Without making these small changes, autistic people, their families and carers can become isolated or prevented from being part of their community and going out.”

Frances Taylor said she attended Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold on Tuesday morning (November 17) to see if she would be able to take her seven-year-old son Freddie, who is severely autistic, at the weekend.

After having to wait in a long queue, Ms Taylor said she rang the store to ask if she could have a designated time to come at the weekend as her son wouldn’t be able to cope with queues.

She was told by staff that they couldn’t offer her an allotted time, and, instead, she was told to come during the evening in the week when it was quieter.

Ms Taylor said that if Freddie was stuck in a queue he would begin to scream, thrash and kick.

She also said the reason they wanted to go at the weekend is because her kids are at school in the day, so she wouldn’t want to take Freddie in the evening because it would unsettle him.

Ed Webb, owner and chairman of Webbs, said: “We are very sorry to hear that Ms Taylor had a bad experience at our Wychbold store and apologise for the way this was handled.

“We are currently operating under strict guidelines.

“We have extended our weekday opening hours to 8pm from Monday, November 2 which we felt would allow sufficient time for our more vulnerable customers to visit in a quieter environment.

“Following Ms Taylor raising this particular issue with us, we will ensure our teams have greater discretion to ensure a higher level of flexibility can be accommodated for all of our visitors to our store at all times."

Ms Taylor said Webbs apologised personally and will make a donation to her son’s school.

She said: “Thank you to Webbs for their very swift response, it’s much appreciated.”