Crowdsourcing a T-shirt Design

t-shirt with list of top ten things you shouldn't say to a disability rights activistI saw this terrific t-shirt today and it made me want to design something similar for the Autistic/autism community: (image description at bottom of post)

I could easily come up with a top ten (or top twenty!) list myself, but I want the t-shirts to reflect the larger community, not just what I think are the most important things.

So I am asking for people to contribute things that have been said to them that they would like to see appear on the shirts.  The two shirts I want to design are:

TOP TEN THINGS NEVER TO SAY TO THE PARENT OF AN AUTISTIC CHILD

and

TOP TEN THINGS NEVER TO SAY TO AN AUTISTIC ADULT

Contributing something does not obligate you to buy a shirt!!! I just want to put together shirts that are designed based on what real people want them to say. Make sense? You can contribute suggestions for the lists in the comments of this post or you can email them privately if you wish, to unstrangemind at gmail dot com.

Thank you so much!

image description: a yellow t-shirt with a top graphic of the standard disability graphic of a stick person in a wheelchair, except they have a bow and are firing arrows into a smile face. The top caption says “top 10 things NEVER to say to a Disability Rights Activist” The list reads as follows:

1. What’s wrong with you?
2. It’s so great to see you out in public!
3. People like you are such an inspiration…if I were in your situation I’d probably kill myself.
4. Yeah we’re accessible … we only have two steps.
5. I was just parking there for a minute.
6. Wheelchair access is around the back … through the alley, behind the dumpster … just knock and someone will take you through the kitchen.
7. We’re covered by the Grandfather clause (NOT)
8. You can’t bring that dog in here!
9. Can’t he just read lips?
10. Can you drive? Who do you live with?

At the bottom is another graphic of the stick figure in the wheelchair but their arms are raised above their head in a victory stance. Below them are the letters ADAPT and above them are some words I can’t make out because they are too tiny for me to see clearly.

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15 responses to this post.

  1. The top thing that’s been said to me as an autistic adult has to be “But you don’t look autistic.”

  2. A suggestion for the Autistic Adult shirt:

    Why can’t you be more social?
    or
    Why don’t you join in (or talk more)?

  3. Epilepsy can’t be that bad. It’s not like you’re paralyzed.

    Is she your chaperone? (she’s my girlfriend, thanks).

    But you felt great yesterday!

  4. number 3?! sometimes i hate people. love the shirt idea for 10 things not to say to an autistic adult – not sure how you’d word it but the first thing i thought of was how people ask questions and get mad when a literal and honest response is given. like….you’re supposed to lie. but not really. but yes, really.

  5. Posted by Dani Alexis on December 3, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Seconding “but you don’t look autistic,” followed closely by “my child will never do that.” (“That” is usually a thing I could not do at their child’s age, and is often something we don’t expect any child of that age to do.)

  6. In no particular order, things not to say to an autistic adult:

    You’re autistic? No you’re not.
    You’re very high-functioning.
    Use your words.
    Have you seen Rain Man?
    Have you heard of Temple Grandin?
    Stop throwing tantrums.
    Are you in therapy?
    Have you tried medication?
    Have you tried ABA?
    Have you tried dieting?
    Have you tried shoving bleach up your butt?
    Stop doing that thing with your hands.
    Are you sure you don’t just have Asperger’s?
    It’s okay that you’re autistic. We all have our problems.
    You mean you HAVE autism.
    Does that mean you don’t have emotions?
    At least you’re not disabled.
    We’re all a little autistic.
    Don’t let your autism hold you back.
    Stop making excuses.
    Can you still have sex?
    It’s all in your head.

  7. Reblogged this on aspiblog.

  8. I lost contact with a woman to whom I was once close because I didn’t understand she was autistic. I regret that I didn’t understand she wasn’t just being standoffish. I hope she will forgive me.

    • Nothing sums up my feelings right now so well as those words someone once said to me years ago, “You’re now apparently reaping what you have sown. I can’t really muster up any sympathy for you after your behavior toward me. You and I stopped being friends a long time ago. I’ve been as patient as I can manage, but I’ve reached my limit. I have no inclination to make you feel better about yourself. Leave me alone.”

  9. Posted by jess on December 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

    my biggest pet peeves as a parent:

    “I’m so sorry”

    and

    “that must be so hard for you”

    cause a) i’m not sorry that my kid is awesome and b) it ain’t about me, sport.

    :)

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