An autistic girl has been the victim of verbal abuse at a shopping centre.
An autistic girl has been the victim of verbal abuse at a shopping centre.

Autistic child traumatised after shopper lashes verbal abuse

A SIMPLE bump in a supermarket aisle lead to all-out verbal assault on a young girl, which has had devastating consequences.

Idell Wadley's daughter, who she didn't wish to name, has autism and an intellectual impairment.

On Monday, Idell's daughter was at Coles Gatton with an NDIS carer when she accidentally bumped into a woman in an aisle.

Despite apologising, Idell's daughter was met with "foul language and abuse".

"She said words to the effect of 'get out of my f**king way'," Idell said.

The impact the incident had on Idell's daughter has been devastating.

"When she got home she went into a complete meltdown," Idell said.

Her daughter had been journeying to Coles with her NDIS support worker to learn to become more independent and interact with people.

Idell said the trips had been incredibly positive for her daughter.

"It's had an incredible affect - she is just now starting to talk to people, she's starting to ask where things are, she's starting to go up to the check out and pay for things herself," Idell said.

But the experience at Coles this week has set her progress back months.

"She's refused now to go back to Coles," Idell said.

"We have to start all over again."

She said the woman's actions had left her feeling "very angry".

"I wasn't there to be able to do anything," Idell said.

"These kinds of behaviours and attitudes from people set people with a disability back.

"It may be that she was in pain or having a really bad day, however to respond to somebody who said I'm sorry in that manner is just not acceptable."

She hoped by speaking out people would stop and think of the consequences of their actions in similar situations.

"Your behaviour negatively impacts not just the people immediately around you, but on everyone connected to that person," she said.

"I'd like people to stop and think for a minute, before they hurl off profanity and yell at a child."

Coles previously rolled out a new program called Quiet Hour in partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia, however it is not available in the Lockyer Valley.

The program provides a low-sensory shopping experience by making changes in store, such as reducing noise and distractions, to help make a difference to customers who find it challenging to shop in a heightened sensory environment.

During the hour, store lighting is reduced, register and scanner volumes are reduced to the lowest level and no PA announcements are made expect in emergencies.

The program has been rolled out to certain stores across the nation, but hasn't made it's way to the Lockyer Valley yet.