A BRADFORD mum says her autistic daughter was left in tears after “no one made allowances” for a Specsavers eye test.

Simone Baker, from Wibsey, had spent days preparing six-year-old Willow, a pupil at Farfield Primary School, for her appointment at The Broadway store in Bradford.

But she could not predict the sudden meltdown which would make them 15 minutes late for their booking.

“I explained we had to pull over as Willow had an 'episode' and I had to calm her before we set off again,” Simone said.

“We were told we couldn’t be seen. Willow hates all appointments. But she has asked about this one for days, getting it set in her mind.

“She had a plan of what to expect and now it was gone. She couldn’t cope.

“I went back, explained again and was told the owner would be OK and we would be seen.

“Willow tried on glasses, moved a chair to sit on, skidded about on her knees, walked around barefoot, then sat really well with a pair of sunglasses on ‘hiding’ from everyone.

“But after 40 mins a very apologetic guy came over and said ‘with the nature of Willow, the owner thinks the wait will be too long for her to cope’.

“Willow heard, became very distressed and threw herself over the threshold of the door crying, sobbing. But then up she got and away she bolted.

“She trashed Greggs, tried to run into a very busy road the whole way to the car. I had to wrap the back of her t-shirt around my hand.

“At home she scratched me, pulled my hair, hit me, punched me, nipped me relentlessly for over an hour. And all because no one made allowances to help.”

In response, Specsavers said: "We were really saddened to receive the feedback from Willow’s mum and are speaking to her to discuss their experience further and what we can do to put it right. 

"When booking the appointment, Willow's mum had let us know they didn't want to wait in the store for long periods.

"Unfortunately, as they were late to the appointment, we did everything we could to reschedule her test but given back-to-back appointments, rescheduling would have resulted in them waiting in store for over an hour.

"Given the guidance from Willow's mum, we suggested rebooking for another day.”

The spokesperson said “various things” are in place to help customers and added: "All our stores are part of our Neurodiversity network, which celebrates our differences, breaks down barriers and promotes understanding through education. Willow’s experience highlights the need for us to continue this work."

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