Marks & Spencer have launched a range of autism friendly school wear in partnership with the National Autistic Society.
Following a product development campaign, the leading retailer was given feedback suggesting they do more to help children who struggle with dressing themselves, specifically those on the autistic spectrum.
With 70 per cent of children with autism participating in mainstream education they are required to wear school uniform. Many children on the autistic spectrum experience sensory sensitivity and struggle with motor skills therefore find small buttons common on uniforms difficult to manage.
After consulting with professionals who work with autistic children, working directly with the children at Hellen Alison School and reaching out to the National Autistic Society Marks &Spencer have developed their “Easy Wear” collection which is now available to purchase online.
The range includes pull up trousers, hidden Velcro fastenings in the place of buttons and easy to wash fabrics.
Over 6000 people registered an interest in the range of products before it went on sale on August 1.
“M&S have responded brilliantly to what they’ve heard from our experts and the children at our Helen Allison School. Simple changes like putting a scratchy label inside a pocket make an enormous difference.
“Since we’ve announced that this autism-friendly range of clothing will be available from M&S, the response from our supporters has been amazing. Over 3000 people have liked our Facebook post and we’ve had over 3000 shares too. Supporters have left comments like: ‘Wow…brilliant…school uniforms are awful, and getting dressed can set the tone for the day when you have sensory sensitivities. These will increase independence and also learning ability. Just brilliant’
“More than one in a hundred people are autistic in the UK – that’s around 120,000 school-age children - and they deserve to have the same choices as everyone else.” Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society said.