ONE OF Costa Blanca’s major shopping centres, Elche’s L’Aljub, is to have a regular time where people with autism can shop in comfort.

Every Monday between 10am and 11am, the popular center will reduce the volume of the background music and will decrease the intensity of it’s lights.

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Under the ‘Origin’ project initiative, the site intends to make its spaces a little accessible for those on the spectrum, along with the help of AITEAL (Ilicitana de Autism Spectrum and Language Disorder).

The idea is to allow adults and children with the condition to enjoy walking and shopping without feeling scared or nervous, which can be a considerable hindrance to sufferers.

Any environment full of sensory stimuli such bright lights, different smells, unexpected sounds and movements are all difficult to handle.

During the “hour of silence”, silence will be encouraged as far as possible, there will be no background music or public announcements.

If shop staff do communicate, the tone of voice during that hour will be calmer.

Germán López, director of the L’Aljub Shopping Center, said: “The collaboration agreement with the AITEAL association has been a step forward in our intention to bring the shopping center closer to the entire population and make it more accessible.”

“With these new measures, our intention is that people with autism can enjoy walks and shopping in the mall without fear.”

More details can be found on their website

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