Natalie Birks says she is now boycotting the specific branch after leaving the store in tears and not completing her shop following the incident with her son Brandon.
Bentilee man, 33, Stoke-on-Trent, recounts the incident with Brandon, 15, on September 17.
“We walked in and first we walked over to the lava lamps he wanted,” Natalie explained to Stoke-on-Trent Live.
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“There was a huge sign on these lamps saying ‘try me please’. He went to touch one of them to show me how it worked and this woman screamed ‘don’t touch this’.
“He was confused and said ‘why’. She said ‘because I said so’. I was like agreeing, fair enough. “
She added: “I asked her ‘is this the one you want?’. He said ‘yes’ and he put it in the cart. a worker came running towards us and said to my son “you must leave immediately”.
“I said ‘what did he do?’ and they said he was trying to touch things. I said he was autistic.
“When he’s excited, he claps his hands. He doesn’t understand much and was confused when asked to leave. I said he couldn’t go on his own because of his autism and wouldn’t know where to go. He would end up getting run over.
“They told me we all had to go.
Natalie said, “In my eyes he didn’t do anything wrong. All he did was touch a lava lamp. “
She has since filed a complaint with B&M after claiming that the staff member at the Longton store also accused her son of “attempting to steal” – an allegation she completely refutes.
The mother of three added, “I was upset and crying. He was more confused than anything. He walked in thinking he was going to choose things and walked out with nothing. One of the ladies who worked there was lovely. She came up to us and made sure we were okay.
“He’s autistic, so touching things is the only way he’s telling me he wants them. Everyone touches things. How are you supposed to choose anything if you can’t touch it?
“Autism is totally different for everyone. I have the impression that he is discriminated against because he has autism and because he is the way he is. I complained to customer service.
“He hadn’t put on his coat, he had his iPad in one hand, and he was trying to touch a lava lamp with the other hand; he could not fly.
“I will not go to this branch. It’s not fair that my son feels like a victim. We only stayed there for three minutes before we were kicked out. You can’t always see the handicaps. “
StokeonTrentLive said it made several attempts to obtain a statement from B&M regarding Natalie’s complaint.
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