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01st Jul 2019

These shopping trollies will make trips to shops a lot easier for children with autism

Melissa Carton

This is a fantastic idea!

On a recent trip to my local SuperValu, I spotted that they had new shopping trollies and on closer inspection discovered that they were ALF trollies.

ALF (Autism Lifeskill Friend), trollies are specially designed for young children diagnosed with autism or sensory difficulties.

The trolley is designed with a clipboard and ‘Finished Box’ feature attached to assist children who rely on visuals as part of their communicational needs.

The Finished Box is very beneficial to children with sensory issues as it helps to ease their anxiety in what can be a busy over-stimulated environment, like a supermarket.

The main focus is to help teach children living with sensory difficulties the independent life skill of grocery shopping while reducing the anxiety associated with the visit to a busy stressful environment.

A lot of Irish stores are implementing more and more sensory friendly services, with the countries first sensory-friendly retail park having only just opened last year.

These services are not only great for children dealing with these sensitive conditions but also their parents.

Many parents have been open and honest on social media about how difficult it can be to get out and about when your child has a condition like autism and how judgmental other parents can be.

Hopefully now with more and more services like this becoming available Irish parents looking after a child with autism will have an easier time doing tasks that most of us, myself included, take for granted.