Shopping with Christopher
If there is one thing that sticks out in my mind about my son Christopher, who has autism and severe learning disabilities, it has to be shopping. It would start with getting dressed - then kicking, screaming, biting and pulling my hair. Whilst out people would stare and make rude comments about his behaviour, my son would be screaming, grabbing anything or anyone in arms reach and trying to bite them.
We had been thrown out of several well known high street shops because other customers complained even though I explained he was disabled. I can’t tell you the amount of times I was reduced to tears.
Walking home I saw a shop that did t-shirt printing, I had three t-shirts printed up one said on the front I HAVE AUTISM and on the back it said WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?, the second t-shirt said I HAVE AUTISM and on the back it said IF YOU DON’T KNOW ASK the third said I HAVE A DISABILITY and on the back it said ITS CALLED AUTISM.
These t-shirts actually worked, people would still look but see the slogans smile and turn away. Some people did ask what Autism was and I explained as well as I could at the time. I got toughened to the outside world and would not allow other people to faze me anymore. It was bad enough coping on my own with Christopher let alone fighting the rest of the world. I don’t think I would have got through without those t-shirts.
Donna, mother to Christopher