Too much sensory stimulation, particularly noise, can be a problem for many people with autism disorders. Whether it is a mainstream classroom, a crowded mall or movie theater, automobile traffic noise as we walk across the bridge, or our family living room when the volume jumps during commercials noise can be a big problem for Conor. In our living room we respond to commercials by preemptively muting them. It is an issue for Conor but I don't like the noise either and I am happy to see that Conservative MP Nina Grewal is taking the initiative of introducing a private member's bill in Canada's House of Commons that will, if it becomes law, prohibit broadcasters from pumping up the volume jumping out of Canadian television sets during commercials. As reported by Carmen Chai, PostMedia News on the Vancouver Sun site :
A Conservative MP introduced a private member's bill Thursday to force advertisers to turn down the volume on loud television commercials. Surrey MP Nina Grewal says Canadians are "sick and tired of having to reach for the remote control every time a commercial comes on their TV." Bill C-621 would require broadcasters to make sure the volume of commercials is consistent with the programs they accompany. "It's a common complaint. You're watching a program at a comfortable volume. The program breaks for a commercial and suddenly you're jolted out of your seat by the loudness," Grewal said in a statement. "While it may seem a small irritant, it's a daily stress that could and should be relieved from the shoulders of Canadians." While there are no laws in Canada to ensure programming and commercials are broadcast at a consistent volume, similar rules exist in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Congratulations to MP Nina Grewal for bringing common sense to Parliament with a bill which, it it becomes law, will make living rooms more liveable in Canadian homes. For Conor and his Dad, for persons with autism, for everyone.