Mum ‘ashamed’ at being refused entry to Aldi with autistic son

A mum was left feeling "ashamed" after being refused entry to Aldi with her autistic son.

Kate Taylor Brown, 45, from Thornton, visited the Thornton store with her son Declan McGrane, 21, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), on Friday, April 3.

Aldi have now apologised for stopping Kate and Declan shopping together, despite Kate claiming she told staff she was his designated carer.

Kate says when she entered the store, Declan was not allowed in with her and was instead told he had to go to the back of the queue on his own.

wallasey printers liscard wallasey
Kate Taylor Brown, 45, from Thornton, says she was prevented from taking her autistic son shopping with her at the Thornton Aldi store despite being his carer

When Kate protested to the security guard and explained her son's disability and that she was his carer, she says her son was still refused entry to the store.

Despite her protestations, she had to make Declan wait in the car while she completed her shop.

Kate says the experience left their son anxious and nervous about leaving the house and embarrassed about his condition.

Speaking to the ECHO Kate said: "We queued up together and waited until we got to the front. I grabbed a trolley and went into the store expecting Declan to be just behind me.

wirral airport transfers

"I was allowed in but I turned around a saw my son had been stopped at the door by security.

"I confronted the security guard and he said the store wasn't allowing people to come in in groups.

"I tried to explain that my son has ASD and that I was his carer and that was why he was with me but it fell on deaf ears.

"I even showed the letter of his diagnosis and a letter from the carer's centre to prove I was a carer but they still did not allow Declan to come in with me and he was told to go the back of the queue."

Kate claims she asked to speak to the store manager but was told that it wasn't possible.

She says the experience has left Declan feeling anxious and unwilling to leave the house.

She added: "I asked another member of staff if I could speak to the manager of the store but I was told that there was no discussing it because of the store's social distancing measures.

"I feel so angry and upset about the whole thing. Declan told me he now feels like an outcast and he is refusing to go out again all because he wasn't allowed into the shop with me, his carer.

"It really has affected him. He hadn't wanted to leave the house for weeks and as soon as he does something like this happens."

Kate told the ECHO : "It's heartbreaking I felt we both felt ashamed. I had to explain in front of a queue of forty people about his disability.

"I've never comes across anything like this before. It just blew me away."

After being contacted by the ECHO, Aldi apologised and reiterated that, despite social distancing measures, customers were allowed to shop with others "where necessary".

Read More

Coronavirus latest

  • Merseyside death rate slows
  • Govt hits 100k test target
  • Take our lockdown survey
  • Tributes to those lost
  • Check coronavirus cases where you live
  • Show your support to NHS Heroes
  • All our coronavirus stories in one place

Last week Aldi issued another apology after a registered blind man was prevented from entering the same Thornton store with his partner on grounds that shopping in pairs was not allowed.

An Aldi spokesperson said: "To help with social distancing, we are encouraging all customers to try and reduce the number of family members they bring with them into our stores.

"However, where necessary, customers can shop with others, and we will remind the security guard at our Thornton store of this policy.

"We apologise to Ms Taylor Brown for any upset this may have caused."