A Bus

Caremark Leeds Bradford Care Coordinator Amy Goodall recently immersed herself in an eye-opening autism reality experience, aimed at providing a firsthand understanding of the sensory challenges encountered by individuals on the autism spectrum.

She experienced what is is like living with the condition using virtual reality technology housed within a touring bus which is funded by Caremark and delivered by training provider Training2Care.

Amy’s impactful journey unfolds as follows:

Commencing with a group gathering, participants were advised to stay hydrated and consume something sweet to prepare for the upcoming sensory stimuli. The group was divided into pairs, with a staggered entry onto a bus, where the transformation began.

Equipped with gloves, headphones, and glasses, participants received instructions from the instructor to navigate the bus, sit down, and engage with a video while facing a barrage of sensory experiences. As Amy walked down the bus, struggling with impaired vision, she encountered flashing lights, disco lights, and a cacophony of sounds, from ringing phones to dripping taps.

The experience heightened Amy’s awareness as she faced challenges like discerning different smells, feeling the bus shake, and attempting to concentrate amid the sensory overload. The video presented tasks, such as writing “autism” in Scrabble, jotting down her mother’s maiden name, and sorting items into coloured piggy banks.

Navigating through the intense sensory environment, Amy struggled with the tasks, hindered by the impact on her vision and balance. The instructor’s assistance became crucial as she grappled with lifting lids and differentiating between colours. Despite the difficulty, the experience left a lasting impression.

Amy said afterwards: “This experience has really made me think about autism and now I understand more about it, I am keen to learn more so we can support customers with autism.”

“The things I took away from this experience were to remember you might not even know that someone has autism, to treat everyone the same and to be kind and gentle.”

This profound encounter prompted Amy to reassess her perspective on autism. The key takeaways include the reminder that autism might not be immediately apparent, urging everyone to treat individuals with equality, kindness, and gentleness. It fuelled Amy’s eagerness to deepen her understanding of autism, ensuring they provide the best support to their customers on the spectrum.


© 2024 Caremark Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Each Caremark Limited franchise office is independently owned and operated.

Designed & built by SandisonPay