Shopping centre toilets have become a total nightmare for parents of autistic children.

The noise from hang dryers frequently upsets people with autism, forcing some frustrated mothers to get their children to urinate in empty bottles, reports Daily Telegraph.

With an estimated one in 70 Australians on the autism spectrum, parents are calling for centres to install “sensory toilets”, a quiet space similar to a disabled toilet.

Children with autism are highly sensitive to sounds and can be easily overwhelmed by their surroundings.

One mum said her son can’t use public bathrooms due to the “terrifying” noises.

“Shopping centres are a headache for me and any other public toilet that has hand dryers, especially those Dyson ones that are really noisy and really high speed,” she said.

Professor Adam Guastella, supervisor of the Autism Clinic for Translational Research, said the problem is common for children who on the spectrum.

“Kids with autism have strong sensitivities to different types of sounds and those that are loud can be very painful for kids, sometimes even physically painful,” he said.

Dyson has responded with the following:

Engineering hand dryers that are quiet is very important to Dyson. To create the best possible experience for users, we have been working hard towards our aim of making hand dryers as quiet as possible, without comprising drying speed. At the end of 2016, we launched the Dyson Airblade V quiet which is 35% quieter than its predecessor, then in 2018 we introduced Dyson Airblade Wash+Dry, the latest version of our tap hand dryer which is up to 39% than its predecessor and we’re encouraging washroom owners to install our latest machines.

Sound is of course a key aspect that Dyson looks to continually test and improve alongside drying speed, hygiene and ensuring environmental sustainability, all elements of which are essential to bathroom hand washing routines. Making the hand washing experience an enjoyable and efficient one for both users and building managers is extremely important to Dyson.”

Share your comments below

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  • My kid isn’t autistic, but he’s bothered by how nosy dryers are.

    Reply


  • I wonder whether taking your child to the disabled toilet would be a good solution in the short term?

    Reply


  • Some dryers are really noisy, I agree. It must be so stressing to go to a toilet with an autistic kid.
    But it seems like a very big project.
    Some supermarkets have one hour of quiet time during the week. But how do you address the problem with public toilets? It sounds very complicated. :-(

    Reply


  • My youngest has Down Syndrome and also has sensory issues. Loud noises freak her out. I just avoid going to the toilet at a shopping center with her. I ask all my kids to go to the toilet at home before we leave.

    Reply


  • Maybe they could modify the disabled toilets so they can also be used by autistic children.

    Reply


  • Those dryers don’t just upset autistic kids. My son HATES them. I wish they would just put paper towels in there.

    Reply

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