autism shirts made for my child???

Chantelle - posted on 09/27/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I am seriously contemplating on having t-shirts made for my son with aspergers syndrome. I was thinking of having written on the back of them "Please be patient with me, I have autism". The reason for doing this is when we are out in public and he is having a hard time and struggling with his day, people can see that he has special needs and not be so judgemental. I have been abused in public a couple of times because of his behaviour or have had death stares at me because he is licking walls or lying on the ground in the middle of a shop. I'm not saying I want to have the shirt on him to justify his behaviour, I just want people to understand that he is not a normal functioning child. Just wondering what people think of this idea?

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Tiffany - posted on 11/08/2009

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We try hard not to label our 8 year old daughter diagnosed with PDD. She is high functioning, so she's aware of her differences sometimes. We have made a point of not making her feel different. My husband is better at it than me, but we treat her like our other children. I could understand wanting a display of some sort for people who don't know. Erin can meltdown anywhere, and does. Our 4 year old has started imitating her "temper tantrums" making this difficult as well.

Sheila - posted on 11/08/2009

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My little guy sometimes wear's a baseball cap with an autism awareness logo. He licks too, lies down, and quotes television shows to people. He also makes so many people smile with his singing and dancing...ying/yang.

I go to the same places usually, so staff know my son (we live in a relatively small city) and I often say my son is a little mini-celebrity because soooo many people know him by name.

Those stares can be so defeating. Comments even worse.

Once my son had this HORRIBLE meltdown in a grocery store. He was 40 pounds, winter, and a full cart. I was also scheduled for surgery and had been told I shouldn't be lifting over 10 pounds...ever. So, I am struggling with him ( we have just checked out) he is screaming, and we are on the floor (literally) This woman comes over to me and said, how long are you going to disturb these people working here with his screaming? I said, he has autism, it's not safe to move him now (he was in FULL meltdown, so clawing my face, biting my hands...you all know) Her response, you could move if you wanted to. The next five people to pass me offered help, and encouragement. I try really hard to focus on those five people and the WONDERFUL staff at that grocery store who repeatedly told me not to worry.

I often think that in some ways it is socially easier to have a child who looks physically different because most people do jump to a kinder place of "judgement" when they can see the issue.....

But the truth is, most children with autism are so beautiful, it is hard not to stare!

Got to love those eyes!

Sheila

Renee - posted on 11/07/2009

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Another suggestion I have heard to make business size cards on the home computer/printer that reads something like "my child has autism and if you would like information about autism please go to www.autismspeaks.org or another website you prefer. I had thought about doing this since I too have been given the death stare but I do have to mention that I've also been given the "you poor woman" stare, the "what's wrong with that child" stare and I even had a woman come up to me in Costco while my son is starting to meltdown and my daughter (who doesn't have autism) was crying about wanting some giant giraffe they had for sale. She actually said to me "you're doing a great job with your kids" even though I felt like my kids were the only ones crying in the place. That made me feel better and I never forgot her kindness. I do have some autism awareness t-shirts that my son sometimes wears and people have asked me about autism in a nice way too.

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Kellie - posted on 03/26/2013

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I am in the process of searching for a few shirts for my son to wear. I get the same stares and I admit, somedays it seems too much. I just wan to scream. Any ideas where to order some cheap tshirts?

Kristie Branch - posted on 02/04/2013

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My children are all now young adults with Autism. I have a few shirts that I found and ordered for our trips to disneyworld, seaworld...etc....they don't mind wearing them and I have to say my favorite is " I might not make eye contact...but atleast I don't stare. :)

Judith - posted on 12/29/2009

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im with this idea too and might be realize after the holidays with the big bold words in front of the shirt saying "im autistic, so what's the problem" and might add a customise sticker also @ d car (child with autism on board)... good luck to us parents with kids in the same spectrum...life is quite challenging but we have to hang on and every child is a blessing...a wonderful year ahead for all of us..

Kimberly - posted on 12/26/2009

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I think its a good idea.. I made on for myself and for my son.. mine says.. "Autism isnt contagious but ignorance is" and my sons says " I'm not being bad i have autism" I have been yelled at also in grocery stores and department stores..Its hard to deal with ingnorant people ... my son would scream like a demon when anyone would look at him.. or even get near my cart.. its been hard but worth the effort.. go with the t-shirt idea.. its a good one.. i still use mine... take care..

Ruth - posted on 12/26/2009

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Do you want the T-shirt to speak for you? Or for the T-shirt to stop comments and stares? My thought is that it may stop some, but also may start a lot of other comments. Try it with one T-shirt and see how it goes over a couple of days (good ones and bad ones).

I have noticed that strangers will comment on the life of others. I have found it useful to realise that often their comments come from their own issues and fears - just like mine above ;) When I have sleep and my child is having a good day I realise these comments are usually not a reflection of me or my child. On our bad days it can be rough.

Perhaps the question that might help you decide is to ask yourself is "what do I want the T-shirt to do?" Then ask yourself, "Can you give that to myself without giving my power away to someone else (by justifying or asking)?"

Love Ruthie

Diana - posted on 12/24/2009

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i love this idea i was actually thinking the same thing the other day and i think it would be a great idea....0:)

Alisha - posted on 12/22/2009

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My daughter is 12 and has Aspergers.She has had few meltdowns in public so I don't have a lot of stories about that. What I get the looks for most times is when she loses her compulsive control and starts climbing on ladders, crawling through shelves, etc... She sees the store as a big playground. I am a single mother with a 5 and 6 yr old as well, so I don't have the option of leaving them at home while I shop. I am self employed in construction so on slow days I am able to run to the store to get some things before I have to pick them up from the sitters. I think it would be nice to have some cards to give to people so they would stop judging me. It is irritating because even my own dad and stepmom have told me I just to need to discipline her better and spend more time with her. I am doing the best I can trying to raise the 3 of them with no help from the dad and it hurts to have people,especially family, tell you(with words and looks) that what you're doing isn't good enough. My favorite incident to think about at those times is one time when my oldest was upset because she couldn't have a toy she wanted so she was having a minor meltdown(hitting, whining, running off) and my younger two were crying and throwing their own little tantrums because they didn't get a candybar and I was embarrassed and trying to keep my patience with them and kept repeating to all of them that they didn't behave while we were shopping so they didn't earn their treat. As I approached the doors, an elderly lady stopped me and told me I was doing a great job and was a wonderful mother. That just made everything better, I didn't worry about everyone's reaction so much then. On my worst days, that comment still makes it all better. Good luck to all of you and know that you all are great parents and doing a wonderful job raising children that most people dont understand. It takes a special person to raise a special child.
Alisha

Susan - posted on 12/22/2009

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I have thought about these shirts for my son when we go out. My neighbor tells me about a web sight that sells all sorts of shirts that say my kid has autism and I love my autistic son. Chris is usally good but when he has a meltdown I get all sorts of dirty looks from people around us. Like why cant you controll you kid. I have learned to grow a thick skin.I love my son and dont care what anyone else thinks, if they ask me questions I tell them Chris is special and it takes him time to adjust to knew things.

Lisa - posted on 12/21/2009

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i no how u feel its happend to me my son is 12 now and i dont care wot people think anymore you will feel the same one day im sure

Kimberly - posted on 12/20/2009

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I have thought about doing this so many times! The Business cards are a fabulous idea. You can get your point across without embarassing anyone including your child. I have heard so many times, " Wow, someone needs a spanking!" Gets old after a while.

Adria - posted on 12/19/2009

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Ok, so one time I was in Staples and my son had a meltdown (and I agree it is usually always in stores so one of us goes and the other stays in the car with him) anyway we had to both go and when we got to the check out line this lady not only stared but actually had the audacity to point and start wispering. I lost my cool and went OFF! I started threatening the woman that we could meet outside and everything! Mind you, I think this behavior is very ghetto! She had a friend who kept telling me that she had a cousin who was Artistic (I swear if people don't know the difference between someone who is AUtistic and ARtistic there's a problem) and that she wasn't from this country. I told her that in most countries it is rude to stare and that if she knew someone who was autistic she would know how to behave when she came in contact with someone else who had it... She didn't get my point and my behavior didn't help. It has never happened again.

Tiffany - posted on 12/03/2009

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I have heard of this type of shirt and have also thought about making one or getting one. My son is 8 yo and most times he has a Meltdown in the stores. We have been trying to have only one parent go to the store and get what we need and come back home or we go while him and his older sister are in school...makes things easier so he doesn't get over stimulated.

I understand what you're saying about the death stares...we've actually had the police called on us. What happens is if our son is having a meltdown in a store, my husband takes him to our van and lets him scream, punch and kick. There has been many times where others have said he was abusing our son or they thought he was kid napping him. The officers come over check out all the proper identification and then they say..."Sorry, there's nothing we can do to help". DUH...we already know that.

I understand that people "care" but sometimes it is extremely frustrating because they don't know what we're going through or what the situation is...so they STARE or REPORT. Our family went to an Earth Day thing near our home and we had to do a park and ride since the parking lot was full at the actual site. Anyway...our son started having a meltdown just before leaving and we rode the transportation back to our van. There was one stop before we got off that picked up more people before dropping us off at our park and ride site. I actually told people to STOP staring my son is autistic. Some people were shocked...when remembering those faces, makes me laugh. The bus driver gave me a smile and said, "It's okay"..I wanted to yell right back...NO IT"S NOT OKAY!! I mean..people are staring like we can't control our son and yet they have NO idea what's going on. I know that people care and worry, but sometimes they have nothing better to do, but stare. ARRGG!!

Anyway...just thought I would let you know a situation where I actually told people to stop...sometimes you get to that point, when you do, just smile and let them know that your son is special needs and they just need to continue on whatever they were doing.

Chantelle - posted on 11/25/2009

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I have made the shirts and my son has been wearing them. I have had positive reactions about it so am happy I made the decision to 'label him'. Makes life so much easier.

Michaux - posted on 11/10/2009

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I have bought several shirts for my daughter (who has aspergers) her favorite is "I'm having a Stimmy day".....it helps explain the behavior quirks autistic children have...I also have cards printed up for the local support group I help with......
its better to educate the masses in my opinion...

Jenny - posted on 11/10/2009

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I have had people say things about my son as well. One lady told my husband that I needed to teach him better. ARG!

Patrina - posted on 11/09/2009

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I thought the same about getting one for my son to wear when he gets his hair cut. I can't be bothered explaining to every hairdresser why his hair cuts hurt. It would be so much easier if he was wearinga shirt!

Chantelle - posted on 11/09/2009

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Okay people, I'm on to it. My little one is proud of who he is and thinks he's special anyway so I don't have to worry about the confidence thing with him wearing the shirts. All ready to start printing them on Thursday, very excited about the idea now. Thanks to all of you who were very supportive of the idea. ;o)

Sheila - posted on 11/09/2009

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I was reading the posts, and I realized I wrote most children with autism are beautiful...somebody slap me with a wet noodle.

I should have said, ALL children with autism are beautiful. They have a courage that is undefined and deal with so much more than I could possibly cope with...ASD children need to be so brave to face their days...I admire them more than words can say!

Sheila

Brenda - posted on 11/09/2009

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My son is now 13 and he is past the meltdown stages of the 3-4 yrs olds but we do have our difficult moment. With much blessing I have not had anyone say anything rude to me. I always inform immediately that my son is autistic, when some behavior is not appropriate. It is funny how our special children bring attention even when they are being at their best. It a chrisma of sort I think, because they can be so sweet at just the right times too :)

I don't give the stare any never mind, because I will probably not ever see that person again. :)

Yes it is nice to see shirts that proclaim their disability, especially when they are done in a cute way. Since my sons dx at age 4, it is amazing how autism has come to the forefront and I think everyone has heard about, or know someone who has a child with some parts of the spectrum.

Hang in there and enjoy all your children. Everyone of them are blessing from the above and he only gave us what we can handle. I feel special at times just know how much God trusted me to take on the task of raising my son. We are all special people and don't let anyone tell you different. God Bless and much patience :)

Judi - posted on 11/08/2009

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I had that idea, but you can get the cards to hand out, check out do2learn.com for the cards.

Marianne - posted on 09/28/2009

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I already have shirts made up for my 4 year old Autistic son. I made them myself by simply purchasing some iron On Transfer paper and then makig mmy own designs on the computer. They have worked 100% for us. Instead of people abusing us in the street, they read first and step aside. I have simply made mine with a big smiley face saying "Hi, Im Autistic, and I am loved". or "Hi, Im Autistic, please be patient". One that always gets a responce in a positive way is "I am Autistic and live in my own world, but dont worry, i have lots of friends here

If anyone would like a transfer made which you can just iron on yourself, please let me know and I will see what I can do. I have just moved and need to find all the paper again, but im happy to help others

Shasta - posted on 09/28/2009

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I thought of the same thing. What I actually wound up doing was printing buissness cards. (With 3 kids shirts would have been a nightmare. LOL) They say "My child has Autism Spectrum Disorder. If his behavior is an issue for you I'm sorry. If this is your only experience with Autism please consider yourself lucky. For more information please go to ________" and I filled in the blank with my favorite Autism website. It may be an alternative to consider as a back up. :)

Nicole - posted on 09/28/2009

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Oh yes. It gives new meaning to labelling your chid. I have often thought that would be great it would save all the run-ins with parents at the park and so on. But I do think it has made me stronger.....stronger to say no we won't be going to the park today. I love the shirt idea.

Lynnell - posted on 09/27/2009

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I know there are shirts out there with sayings on them and I did contenplate buying them but I haven't. My concern was that more people would then look at him. He is now older and getting better at not being pushed around in a trolley. My boy is 8 so don't have the looks so much unless he has a meltdown but they too seem to be not so much out in public. It is hard. I even had sister in laws who used to say he just needs a good smack. Take care you are not alone

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