Mum tears after B&M kicked autistic son out of the shop – Manchester Evening News

A mum has slammed B&M after claiming her autistic son was “kicked out of the store”.

Natalie Birks says she is now boycotting the specific branch after leaving the store in tears and without completing her shop following the incident with son Brandon.

The 33-year-old from Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent, says the incident with 15-year-old Brandon on September 17.

“We walked in and first of all we walked over to the lava lamps which he wanted,” Natalie explained to Stoke-on-Trent Live.

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“There was a massive sign on these lamps saying ‘please try me’. He went to touch one of them to show me how it works and this woman shouted ‘don’t touch that’.

“He was confused and said ‘why’. She said ‘because I said so’. I was like okay, fair enough.”

She added: “I asked him ‘is that the one you want?’. He said ‘yeah’ and he put it in the trolley. We went to walk over to the toy aisle but we didn’t make it to that aisle because a worker came running up to us and said to my son ‘you need to leave right now’.

“I said ‘what’s he done?’ and they said he was trying to touch things. I said he has got autism.

“When he gets excited he flaps his hands. He doesn’t understand much and was confused when he was asked to leave. I said he could not leave by himself because of his autism and he wouldn’t know where to go. He would end up getting run over.

A generic picture of a B&M store
(Image: Derby Telegraph)

“They told me we all needed to leave.”

Natalie said: “In my eyes he didn’t do anything wrong. All he did was touch a lava lamp.”

She has since lodged a complaint with B&M after claiming the member of staff at the Longton store also accused her son of “trying to steal” – an allegation which she completely refutes.

The mother-of-three added: “I was upset and crying. He was confused more than anything. He went in thinking he was going to pick some things and he came out with nothing. One of the ladies who worked there was lovely. She came out to us and made sure we were okay.

“He has autism so touching things is the only way he could tell me that he wants them. Everybody touches things. How are you meant to pick anything if you can’t touch it?

“Autism is totally different for everyone. It feels like he is being discriminated against for having autism and for being the way he is. I complained to the customer service.

“He hadn’t got his coat on, he had his iPad in one hand, and he was trying to touch a lava lamp with the other hand; he wouldn’t know how to steal.

“I will not be going to that branch. It’s not fair that my son should feel victimised. We were only in there for three minutes before we were kicked out. You can’t always see disabilities.”

StokeonTrentLive says it had made repeated attempts to obtain a statement from B&M regarding Natalie’s complaint.

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