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Autism Awareness At Wetherspoons!

Autism Awareness At Wetherspoons.

Have you ever wondered why people are keener to share their negative experiences than their positive ones? It’s because of something called negativity bias and we all have it. Negativity bias means that if something positive and something negative happened to you and they were both of equal value the negative thing would have a greater impact. That is why we tend to focus more on the negatives and share our negative experiences.

Positive Experiences

Interestingly if we share our positive experiences it can boost our happiness. This is maybe why I love to share positive experiences and highlight when people or businesses do something good.

Autism & ARFID

If you’ve never heard of ARFID it stands for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Autism & ARFID are often closely related and for us they are. Jamie has an extremely limited and restrictive food diet. One of those foods was the chicken breast bites (or chicken nuggets) you could get in Wetherspoons. Jamie is now 19 and we’ve been frequenting our local spoons several times a week since Jamie was 7. It is a safe place, we know the staff, we sit at the same table and the nuggets are always the same.

Amazing Customer Services

For as long as we’ve been going to Wetherspoons their customer services have always been amazing and we have never really kept quiet about that. They know Jamie and it’s become a place where Jamie and the rest of our family feel safe and not judged for being different. That is why it is our go-to place to get Jamie out of the house. Nothing is too much trouble and knowing our specific needs they actually really do go above and beyond to help us and make things accessible for Jamie.

Autism Awareness at Wetherspoons

What Happens When The Nuggets Change?

Over the years during busy periods like school holidays, the nuggets have gone out of stock and they have had to get different nuggets until their next delivery arrives. The first time this happened they messaged me on Facebook to tell me they didn’t have any of Jamie’s nuggets in that day. The fact that they can run a busy establishment, knowing that they don’t have Jamie’s nuggets in on a day they know we will be going and send us a message to pre-warn us is incredible. But this Wetherspoons went several steps further!

What Did They Do?

They then started to realise before they ran out of nuggets and kept a pack to the side just for Jamie. This way we would always have nuggets and not have to miss our trips out.

Eventually, the menu changed and the ingredients in the nuggets changed too. The next time we were in they told us that this had happened and asked if Jamie wanted to try the new nuggets. Jamie wasn’t keen on trying the new ones there and then (as we need to build up to something like that) so we were able to have nuggets from the old stock until eventually, Jamie felt comfortable to try the new ones.

To anyone else these nuggets looked exactly the same but to Jamie they smelled different, they tasted different and the texture was different. They weren’t enjoyable and whilst they tried really hard and wanted to like them they just couldn’t.

So the staff saved all of the old nuggets for Jamie and we would order them from Jamies special bag whenever we went in.


It was inevitable that one day these nuggets would run out and that is exactly what happened. Once again Jamie decided they would try the new nuggets “just in case” but again they couldn’t cope with the different smell, taste, and texture.

The manager offered to cook Jamie a piece of every chicken from the menu until we found something that they liked. I made a ToikTok video about this wonderful gesture which you can watch here.

That was February 2022.

Autism Awareness at Wetherspoons

What Effect Did This Have?

Not being able to go out regularly to Wetherspoons had a negative effect on Jamie’s mental health. They stopped wanting to go out at all as there was nowhere to go that felt safe or that they looked forward to. We tried different places like going to the cinema and Mcdonald’s but they were too busy and noisy. Luckily we did find that Jamie liked the McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets so at least we could visit the drive-through!

Fast Forward

11 months later January 2023 I received this Facebook message.

It turns out that someone from Wetherspoons had seen my TikTok video and off the back of that had ordered Jamie’s nuggets back into our local Wetherspoons. Jamie was over the moon and I immediately saw a change in them. We went to Wetherspoons for the next 3 days and saw the staff that we hadn’t seen for almost a year!

Autism Awareness at Wetherspoons

Of course, after the first visit back I made another TikTok video which you can watch here.

You can see from that smile just how happy Jamie is being able to go out and eat their favourite nuggets in their favourite Wetherspoons.

Thank You

So thank you to all of the staff in our amazing Wetherspoons. You know who you are! To anyone else at Wetherspoons who made this happen, I don’t think you know how much this has changed Jamie’s life. Bering able to get out again to do something they enjoy is absolutely life-changing. Everyone should have something to look forward to and now that this has happened Jamie does ♥

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