THE CITY’S first Autism friendly restaurant is now open for business.
India Quay, an Indian restaurant based in The Boardwalk, is backing a new campaign in time for World Autism Awareness Week.
The leader of Portsmouth City Council, Donna Jones attended the event to show her support for the idea, the brainchild of retail trainer Richard Reynolds.
Richard said: ‘I mentioned the idea to Ru, the restaurant owner, and he wanted to be involved from the get-go.’
Thanks to Richard’s initiative, India Quay’s staff are now trained to support children diagnosed with different levels autism and Asperger’s.
Richard said: ‘If your child is diagnosed, a family meal out can seem more like a challenge than a treat.
‘If the child has an episode, staff may not know how to cope, which creates a difficult experience.
‘Each shop that signs up will have their staff fully trained to offer immediate support for families, helping children to relax and allowing mums and dads to get back to enjoying their experience.
‘Distraction packs which include colouring in materials, crosswords and headphones will also be offered.
‘Every family should be able to go out, relax and spend time together so we’re creating an experience where everybody is welcome.
‘While the high street is struggling, this could also encourage more people to get out of the house and see what local shops have to offer.’