PARENTS

Iceland Security Guard Ordered Autistic Boy, 7, To 'Calm Down' And Leave Store

03/02/2015 11:48 | Updated 20 May 2015

Iceland security guard ordered autistic boy, 7, to 'calm down' and leave store

An Iceland security guard ordered a family out of a store after telling them to get their autistic seven-year-old son to 'calm down'.

Parents Matthew and Amanda Lawton claimed the security told them their son Bradley Lawton was 'out of control' when he began running up and down the aisles at the Sheffield store.

But a spokesman for the supermarket said the action was taken 'for the safety of our other customers and staff' after Bradley was spotted running up and down the aisles and' striking the lids of freezer cabinets while wearing a heavy ring'.

However, despite being sent a £20 voucher as a 'gesture of goodwill', Bradley's dad Matthew told his local paper: "I am absolutely furious. He wasn't in a bad meltdown, but to be told you can't control your son is disgraceful.

"I said to him: 'You obviously don't understand what autism is'."

Matthew added: "I'm very passionate about the fact that awareness isn't there and often it's the older generation that frown or don't understand.

"When you have someone in that job, you have to have an awareness about what you can and cant say. It's discrimination.

"Because he doesn't need a wheelchair, people sometimes don't realise. I think we're a little bit behind in this country."

A spokesman for Iceland told the Mail that the company is 'opposed to all forms of discrimination'.

He said: 'We are well aware of, and sympathetic to, the issues faced by the parents of autistic children and we try our utmost to make allowances for sometimes challenging behaviour in store. However, we must also have regard for the safety of our other customers and staff."

The spokesman told the newspaper that a security guard approached the Lawtons and asked them 'to calm' Bradley down and warned they would have to leave the store if they couldn't.

The spokesman said the £20 voucher was a 'gesture of goodwill', adding: "They have already returned to shop in the same store, and we hope to see them and their son in store many times again in the future."

More on Parentdish: What is autism?

Suggest a correction