Local ShopRite helps kids with autism-friendly checkout

There's something different about a brand new ShopRite supermarket. Candy usually all stacked and ready for a last-minute impulse buy at the urging of your kids is nowhere to be found at counter 14. That's because it's been set up for parents with special needs kids, especially autism.

Melanie Tanner heard about the specially marked lane via Facebook. She came with her 9-year-old son named AJ who has Aspergers. Melanie remembers fighting over sweets when she was just trying to pay and go. The candy has been replaced by toys of the sort that give children with autism something to touch and feel.

Nancy Conway came through counter 14 when FOX 29 was at the store. Nancy teaches kids with autism in the Chester-Upland School District and knows how these toys can work.

Store Director Paul Kourtis made the change.

"The point is to make the checkout easier, make the customer more comfortable. Just the whole shopping experience needs to be a pleasure. So for me, to do it was no big deal," he explained.

Counter-14 helped Melanie Tanner get out of the store without a fight over candy and without the sugar crash that follows the old "I give up. You can have it" purchase.

"My son was looking at the sensory objects and just no arguments and just rang out and it was perfect.," she explained.

A small change and a big difference.