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World Autism Acceptance Week: Kieron’s West Brom matchday

West Brom produced a film following Kieron - a young fan with autism - during the club's Weeks of Action matchday against Swansea City.
West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion released a video following Kieron’s matchday experience at The Hawthorns as the Baggies played Swansea City in their dedicated Weeks of Action match.

The film kicks off with Kieron’s dad explaining why it can be difficult attending matches with Kieron – who has autism – because of the prospect of finding a way out if he had any triggers during the game.

The club website has a fantastic information page for disabled supporters, including for fans with autism, which featured details about the sensory room at the stadium, as well as a variety of different crowd noises and stadium announcements supporters will hear during the game.

“By looking at the website, we’ve seen exactly where he’s going into the ground, the concourse and even the sensory room,” Kieron’s dad said.

“If we’re having trouble during the game, we can have a little sit in the sensory room and watch a live match on TV in there.”

Following Kieron into the ground, the film shows him entering through the turnstiles and walking pitch side to his seat – accompanied by foundation coach Chris – in time to watch the players warm-up in Level Playing Field t-shirts.

During the game, Kieron and the coach leave the stands to check out the sensory room, decked out with bean bags, bubble tubes and other sensory toys, where the pair sat comfortably to watch part of the game on the TV.

Upon returning to his seat inside the stadium, Kieron can be seen using ear defenders to help reduce the loud noise a sports stadium produces but looks comfortable and as he enjoys his matchday experience.

Disability sports coach Chris said: “Kieron enjoyed the Swansea game so much, so he’s come tonight for the Huddersfield game as well.

“We’ve also got 15 other participants from our SEN sections, with various disabilities tonight as well.”

Kieron’s dad said: “We had a really positive experience of our last game, and we’re back for more.

“Kieron used the sensory room once or twice when he was getting a little bit agitated which managed to calm him down, and even managed to watch the game on the screen, so he didn’t miss anything at all and was able to come back and join the match and enjoy himself.”

Zac, another young fan with autism, also attends the club foundation’s football sessions and was at the game with his dad too.

“They’ve been really good to him,” Zac’s dad said.

“They’ve given him tickets to these couple of matches that he’s been to, and they really look after him on the half-term football camps which he really enjoys.”

Watch the full video 👇