Transcript

[KIDS SHOUTING]

>> REPORTER: The Shippey Brothers are all on the autism spectrum. And they are all football mad.

For Nathan especially, this Sunderland badge means the world.

>> NATHAN: I want to go now.

>> REPORTER: You want to go now?

>> NATHAN: Yeah.

>> REPORTER: You want to see the game?

>> NATHAN: Yeah.

>> FATHER: Come on then. Good lad.

>> REPORTER: But taking Nathan to the game in the past has always ended in distress.

>> MOTHER: It was really devastating for us to see him so distressed. He was so excited leaving the house, into the car, down to the football match.

[CAR DOORS SLAM]

>> MOTHER: And that's where it ended, at kick off, for him. He was terrified.

Wow.

>> NATHAN: Wow. Brilliant is this night at the stadium.

>> REPORTER: Now everything has changed.

>> NATHAN: This is exciting.

>> FATHER: Here he is, trouble.

[MOTHER AND FATHER LAUGH]

>> NATHAN: I'm not trouble.

>> REPORTER: The family petitioned the club. What they've achieved is this, the Nathan Shippey suite.

>> NATHAN: Come and see my room.

>> REPORTER: Is this your room?

>> NATHAN: Yes.

>> REPORTER: Sunderland have built this specialist area for fans on the autistic spectrum.

A safe space, soundproofed, still close enough to be part of the atmosphere, close enough to see your favourite players.

>> FATHER: He's over there, John O'Shea, doing the exercises.

>> MOTHER: It's absolutely incredible.

>> REPORTER: Is it?

>> MOTHER: It's just opened a whole new world to him. Now, he's excited, he can come and watch his favourite team live.

It's just amazing to see him. It's emotional really, just to see this whole new world opening for him.

>> REPORTER: It's opened up for him.

>> MOTHER: Really, it has.

[CROWD NOISE]

>> REPORTER: A match day stadium is not an easy place for those who have the condition.

[CROWD NOISE]

>> REPORTER: Talk me through how difficult this is?

>> INTERVIEWEE #1: Well, you can hear, hear the noise, it's pretty noisy. Got bright stadium lights, big cheers.

[CROWD CHEERS]

You're gonna come into the stadium as well.

[VENDOR SHOUTING]

>> INTERVIEWEE #1: Brushing up against people, people touching you. So for a child like Nathan, that can be really difficult.

>> REPORTER: But the changes the club have made here have cost very little. The impact it's had, huge.

Demand is there?

>> INTERVIEWEE #2: It's been so popular. We opened it at the start of this season. And ever since the games have been available, the room has been full. We've even had away fans in there for certain games. And every family I speak to, just said, you know, how the experience has been fantastic. They didn't see themselves being able to bring their children to a game for 90 minutes.

>> REPORTER: 90 minutes of joy Nathan's mum and dad didn't think would ever be possible.

>> MOTHER: I can't explain how wonderful it is. It's perfect.

>> REPORTER: Life changing?

>> MOTHER: Absolutely, life changing. It is, for us. It is for our family, and let's hope it is for many more families.