Clothing range designed to improve understanding of people with autism

Organiser Ingrid Pope [pictured] launched Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale last year after seeing a similar event in the US.

A RANGE of clothing and accessories designed to raise awareness about autism is being launched next month by Tunbridge Wells mum Trish O’Dwyer.

Her seven-year-old son Henry has non-verbal autism and Trish knows that he is often judged by people who do not have a clear understanding of the condition when they go out together.

Trish explains: ‘Autism is not visually recognisable so how would anyone know that someone was autistic in the first place?

‘If they did know, how could they tell if that autistic person doesn’t like to talk, or doesn’t like to be touched – or loves to talk at length about his or her special interest?’

This is what gave her the idea behind Autism Threads, a subtle yet recognisable brand with discreet messaging that will provide a cue to observers about how best to interact with the wearer.

Trish hopes that as people recognise the brand and understand autism a little more, they will become more comfortable around autistic children and adults, and their carers, which will in turn help to make them feel more accepted.

Trish’s son will need care for the rest of his life, and she has set up the business in part to raise awareness about autism and in part to fund her son’s ongoing needs.

She is also keen to support the valuable work of the National Autistic Society by pledging a proportion of her profits to the charity once Autism Threads is up and running.

Autism Threads products will be available to purchase from from May 15.

You can find out more about Trish’s experiences with her son by following Autism Threads’ social media feed @autismthreads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information about autism, go to the National Autistic Society’s website

PICTURE: GOT YOUR BACK: One of Trish’s T-shirt designs

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