Going out to eat in cafes and restaurants can be challenging for some autistic people due to sensory processing differences. With large crowds, long waits, and uncomfortable stares, the situation can become stressful very quickly.
Based on a real, lived experience, this co-produced animation explores James and Mark's eating out experience. Take a look at the video - what do you see?
Our second animation scenario features a visit to the café, showcasing the real, lived experience of James, who is autistic and non-verbal, and his dad, James.
The clip opens with people sat outside the café, chatting and eating, as James makes his way towards the café with his parents.
The scene shifts to inside the café, which is bustling and busy with groups of people and loud noises.
As James and his parents locate an empty table, 2 children push past them and take the last table, causing James to become physically distressed. His mum makes an effort to comfort him, and onlookers in the café begin to stare and make comments as they witness James’ reaction.
Another customer, having watched the scene unfold, calls them over and offers her own table up. James and his family become relieved, sharing their thanks and appreciation to the considerate stranger.
Afterwards, James and his parents are shown queuing in line to order their food, and James begins stimming. Other customers in the queue and around the café start staring and passing comments again, much to the discomfort of his parents.
Reaching the front of the queue, the cafe worker waves James over and they are later seen sitting at a table with their food.
Another café worker comes over to their table and waves at James, who enthusiastically waves back, and his parents seem happy and content as they watch this interaction unfold.
SeeItFromMyPerspective - BeAnAutismAlly - EmbraceDifferences