Autism and sensory-friendly family day to take place at Limerick retail park

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Willow Pierce from Limerick using a sensory-friendly tunnel which will be part of the family day attractions on Sunday

Willow Pierce from Limerick using a sensory-friendly tunnel which will be part of the family day attractions on Sunday

THE PARKWAY Retail Park, in partnership with the Limerick Autism Group, is to host an autism and sensory-friendly family fun day on Sunday, June 17, from midday.

The Dublin Road outlet is Ireland’s first autism sensory friendly retail park, and specially trained staff will be at each of the stores. 

Autism-friendly parking spaces will also be included, while there will be a range of fun activities for children including a bouncy castle, face-painting, magicians and more.

LAG co-founder Keith Enright, whose own son Joey has autism, said: “This is about developing a community around autism.

“It’s so children and adults with autism can visit any store without someone judging them, or them not being able to communicate what they need.”

Mr Enright hopes more awareness of the sensory condition will come about following the event, adding: “That’s what we’re all about. It’s about getting the public to know what’s going on.”

Keith says LAG has been pushing for an autism-friendly retail park for years, noting that while there are none yet in Ireland, there are many overseas.

“There needs to be bigger and better awareness of autism in our communities across the country and Parkway Retail Park is more than happy to lead the way,” said Sigma’s Paddy O’Connor, asset manager at Parkway Retail Park.

“True autism-friendliness means that we welcome you, and we understand that sometimes that you may need additional support and we are happy to provide it. Parkway Retail Park plan to host other autism-awareness events and fundraising initiatives,” he said.