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Supermarkets difficult for families of autistic children to access for food
28th Apr

2020

Supermarkets difficult for families of autistic children to access for food


Families of autistic children are struggling to get food from supermarkets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Parents say their children live on restricted diets and shops are being stripped bare of the foods they eat.

Families of autistic children are struggling to get food from supermarkets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Anna and Ben Champion. Anna says she has struggled to get the restricted range of foods Ben will eat due to panic buying

Some supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have set aside periods when the elderly and vulnerable can shop.

Impossible to register

But Beth Morrison, who runs Positive and Active Behaviour Support Scotland (PABSS), says she has found it impossible to register as “vulnerable” with Sainsbury’s.

Morrison is self-isolating with husband Peter, 57. Peter had a heart attack three weeks ago and has had a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted.

The couple’s son, Calum, and daughter, Paige, are also self-isolating. Calum, 21, has epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism and a learning disability.

Not been able to book a delivery

Morrison, 54, from Monifieth, in Angus, gets much of Calum’s diet from Morrison’s. However, she has not been able to book a delivery online.

She said Calum eats only chicken or sausages from Sainsbury’s or Marks & Spencer.

“He is so sensitive with food — sensory issues with food. He can actually tell the difference just by smelling the chicken,” she said.

Morrison has relied on Calum’s support workers to go shopping.

Son will only eat certain brands

Anna Champion, 39, from Chippenham, said her son Ben, 12, who has autism and a learning disability, will also only eat certain brands.

She wrote on Autism Eye’s Facebook page: “I don’t know what to do. He is eating virtually nothing as I can’t get what he likes.”

A spokesperson for Tesco confirmed that families of children and adults with autism can use the store during slots set aside for vulnerable groups.

Families will not be asked for proof, added the spokesperson.

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Published: 2 April 2020



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