Sainsbury's worker 'clicked fingers' in autistic tot's face to get him to speak
Luke Finch took his autistic three-year-old son Caleb to the supermarket on Saturday.
Caleb's mum, 27-year-old Corinne Bryan, and her partner Luke, 36, feel that more needs to be done to make autistic people feel more included within society.
Corinne stated: "Luke had taken Caleb and one of the workers – who knows the situation and has tried speak to Caleb before – clicked in front of his face and said 'no, not today' and then just walked off.
"To be honest, I was raging that anyone would act like that.
"No child has to speak to someone if they really don't want to."
Sainsbury's has since apologised and stated that it intends to look into the complaint as a matter of urgency.
Corinne said that her partner was deeply upset.
"Luke said he would have said something, but in the moment he couldn't quite believe what had happened.
"Luke was incredibly upset and frustrated with the worker at the time and he still is."
Since Caleb was diagnosed as autistic 18 months ago, Corinne has been blogging and influencing in the local area to raise awareness.
They regularly go to Sainsbury's as part of Caleb's routine.
She said normally the staff are very understanding of the family's situation and are aware that he may not speak back when spoken to as he is non-verbal.
Corinne said she went through a whole range of emotions.
She said: "I was a mix of anger, frustration and confusion – I just can't believe someone would act that way.
"Later I was upset by it all. You feel like you're trying so hard to stop these things from happening and it makes you worry about the future even more.
"I'm just glad Caleb doesn't fully understand the situation as I would hate for this sort of thing to affect him.
"I don't think this type of behaviour is acceptable towards anyone, never mind someone with a disability.
"I'm still shocked and angry to be honest, it's just so bizarre to think that someone would even think that acting in that way is acceptable."
She said it shows more needs to be done to raise awareness on autism.
She said: "After all our efforts to raise awareness about autism, incidents like this make you feel like you're getting nowhere.
"I won't let it stop me though and I'll keep pushing to help others understand.
"I just hope society is more accepting of his disability when he's older.
"I hate to see kids and adults being targeted in this way, if people understood more then they might be a little more accepting."
In response to these claims, a Sainsbury's spokesperson said: “We are committed to treating all our customers with respect and are looking into this incident as a matter of urgency.
"We are very sorry for any upset that may have been caused.”
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