JC Penney Offers Special Shopping Experience For Families of Kids With Autism

DALLAS — Any parent knows that back to school shopping can be a total headache. Well it only becomes more difficult with a special needs child.

“It’s hard to shop when you have kids with disabilities, it really is,” said Lacinetta Coxson, who has two autistic daughters.

Well today, JC Penney offered a solution, opening their store at Timbercreek Crossing early and providing a sensory friendly shopping experience for families with autistic children.

“We’re in about 50% lighting,” explained general manager Jay Tollett. “Typically the store would be bright, you’d have a lot of music going on. That’s the other thing, we have the music turned off this morning so it’s nice and quiet and calm and a little cooler than we normal have it in here.”

“It’s amazing how much it really helps me to go shopping and don’t have to deal with the lights and the sound,” Coxson said. “My kids they can feel comfortable, I can feel comfortable and shop.”

It’s a big step for these families, not only in the convenience it gives them, but the knowledge that folks all over, even in big companies, are reaching out to them.

“Anytime we can reach out and help the community like that, I think it’s a great way to give back,” Tollett said.

Lacinetta agreed, “It’s such great idea, I hope it catches on with other stores.

"So many times, families of people with special needs, we’re kind of always on the outskirts. You know we’re not included a lot. This makes it feel like we’re so inclusive.”

Well, with the school bell about to ring, that’s one lesson we can all learn.