The Northland 'Quiet Room'01 Jan 2016
Proud sponsors of VAC2016 (Victorian Autism Conference 2016)
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The Northland Quiet Room
More than two years ago, Northland Shopping Centre, together with Amaze (formerly Autism Victoria), opened Australia’s first ever shopping centre ‘Quiet Room’- a sensory soothing space for individuals with Autism.
Built entirely by local volunteers and businesses and led by a passionate committee with most members having been personally touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the pioneering ‘Quiet Room’ concept has been introduced in a bid to give the 55,000 Victorians affected by ASD a positive shopping experience.
Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie explains, “It can be very difficult for parents with children on the spectrum to be able to come out to public places, such as shopping centres, for fear of their child having a ‘meltdown’ due to too much sensory stimulation. And not just children – adolescents and adults with ASD are often overwhelmed by the sensory experience that is ‘shopping’! Northland Shopping Centre, together with our Autism experts, have constructed a specially designed ‘Quiet Room’ offering individuals and their carers space to reduce their anxiety, where they can get access to power, sensory soothing items, bean bags and other useful materials to help reduce over-stimulation.”
It is a little known fact that one in every 100-110 people is affected by ASD. This equates to around 250,000 Australians. It is a developmental condition which affects individuals in two main areas:
- Impaired communication and social interaction
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities
Centre Manager, Andrew Drivas, is thrilled that Northland Shopping Centre will become more accessible to its valued customers and centre staff affected by ASD.
“We hope this revolutionary idea will help individuals and their carers feel more comfortable in this and other public spaces and perhaps further engage with the community. Furthermore, we’re committed to growing awareness of ASD at Northland by using our communication channels to promote the many wonderful ASD services and programs available within the local community”, said Drivas.
Your private invitation
If you would like a private tour through the Quiet Room, please contact Northland Centre Management 03 9478 1399.
Please enjoy the below short clip on Northland's Quiet Room.