Time for a Change

Remember when the autism ribbon magnets came out? I do. I don’t recall how many years ago that was, but I got some right away, gave a few to relatives, kept a couple. We didn’t really think about the puzzle message back then, the “I am not a puzzle” outlook. And I totally get that; I do. But to me, it’s not the person that’s puzzling. I’m sure most parents feel that way. And definitely some kids.

Anyway, even though I always thought that the design was too busy and actually detracted from the message, I still sported one on the back of my car for several years, along with an “I love a person with autism” bumper sticker. As time went on, the bumper sticker peeled and faded considerably, but the magnet held strong. Years of carwashes, storms, uncovered parking, and road trips (we take a lot of those) did not affect it. That thing was baked on.

And then, two months ago, I went through the carwash, the same carwash I’ve been going through for years, and the magnet came off. I went to a store after the carwash, and when I came back to the car in the parking lot, I noticed that the magnet was gone. Just a little black piece of it was left behind, still baked on.  I stood there for a moment, dejected. I always like to look for those whenever I’m driving and get a feeling of pride and a little excitement when I see one. And now mine is gone. Sure, I can easily get another one, but it won’t be my magnet, the one that has gone with us everywhere for the past seven years or something like that. I didn’t want to replace it with another one.

So I decided it was time for something new. Finally motivated, I got going on something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I did some looking, tried out a few designs, and TA-DAH! I proudly present to you the all-new, puzzle-free Teen Autism bumper sticker!

And because I thought there might be other parents out there looking for an awareness alternative for the family car, I made enough to share. Really! If you’d like a sticker to let others know that you’ve got an older child with ASD, just send an e-mail to Tanya@teenautism.com with your name and address. Or if you know of any teachers, therapists, or sped coordinators in your area who would be interested, let me know and I’ll be happy to send one out for them.

Seeing my car without the iconic ribbon magnet took some getting used to. But I must admit that I like my cool new sticker even better!


17 thoughts on “Time for a Change

  1. goodfountain

    Very cool, Tanya! Seriously.

    (And you may have just started some crazy trend – all the bloggers at BlogHer next year will be handing out bumper stickers now! Ha!)

  2. Paulene Angela

    I’ve made you a jpeg, will forward an attachment by email. If you see my blog I have added a link function so people can just click on.

    Like the wording …… You’re right we do need to understand each other a lot more.

  3. Cheryl

    That is awesome, Tanya! Like you said, it will be weird though and take some getting used to not seeing your car with the other sticker and magnet on it! If you do have any extra I’d gladly take some…we have teachers in and out of our building every day and it sounds like a great way to get the word out to everyone, if that’s something you’d be interested in me doing. One of my co-workers has a daughter who has autism too, so he might like one too.

  4. CorrieHowe

    I LOVE IT! Very clean, simple and profound, just like your blog. As I was reading, I was thinking about Rhema, the autism awareness magnet bandit.

    I know you read it because I saw your response.

  5. CorrieHowe

    P.S. I’ll talk to my husband about whether or not I can have one for one of our vehicles. Traditionally, we don’t have anything on the car. I’ll contact you if I get the “okay.”

  6. Nicki

    That is a cool magnet! I read that blog post too about the little girl who kept grabbing the puzzle magnets and tearing them to shreds! When you read that, you kind of have to be like, “Okay, okay, I’m listening!”

  7. T.H.

    I am a silent reader of this blog (and many other autism blogs) but I wanted to point something out to you that you may not have considered. You say that you drop Nigel off to school in this car, and that sometimes other kids give him a hard time– well, if one of them were to see your blog URL on the sticker and go to it, they could potentially have a lot more information to tease Nigel and make his life harder/spread his personal life around the school. Just wanted to give you a heads up on that in case you hadn’t considered it.

  8. Tanya Savko Post author

    Hi T.H.,

    Thanks so much for reading, and for your input. My strong belief, thirteen years post-diagnosis as the parent of a child with autism, is that the most effective way to address ignorance (bullying, etc.) is through awareness. The fact is that after putting that sticker on my car, Nigel has experienced far fewer bullying incidents. The vast majority of the kids know him and know more about the reasons for his behavior, and they are more compassionate. I’m not saying it’s because of the sticker, but that’s what has happened in the past year (fourteen months) since I wrote this post. However, I do appreciate your concern and your comment.

    Best wishes,

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