Mother left CNN job, starts an amazing clothing line for children with autism

Heather Suhr
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Any caregiver of a child with autism knows that child could possibly wander off at any given moment. This can be frightening and difficult to prevent. In fact, 49% of the parents with an autistic child indicate that their child has wandered off at least once after the age of 4, according to the journal Pediatrics. (1)

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder appears to be rising at a large rate since the year 2000. According to statistics, approximately 1 in 68 children have been identified with this disorder compared to only 1 in 150 in 2000. (2) Additionally, one study shows that this disorder affects young boys at almost five times the rate of girls. (3)

With these statistics, it means that more children with autism may be putting themselves in danger. One woman believes she found a solution.

Mother left CNN job to care for her son

Former CNN correspondent, Lauren Thierry, left her job so she can take care of her autistic son, Liam. She started a documentary, Autism Every Day, and learned how wandering is a huge issue for families with autistic children . As a result, she founded Independence Day Clothing, making lives a little simpler for parents and children with autism. (4,5)

“Because I’ve had someone with autism in my family for so long, I’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve had a focus group in my own home this whole time,” says Ms. Thierry. (4)

An entire line of clothing with GPS tracker

Independence Day Clothing is a unique company designed to targets challenges that many autistic people face, such as sensory issues and the amount of time it takes to get dressed.  The company creates comfy, stylish clothing with hidden GPS trackers that children can’t feel. (4,6)

The GPS tracking technology makes it easy for parents to track their children if he or she happens to wander. Trackers are approximately the size of a domino, weigh less than an ounce, and are hidden discreetly within the clothing. (4,5,6)

Clothes are made in a way that there is no “wrong” way to wear them, creating  less complicated dressing for autistic children. There are no zippers, buttons, snaps, or labels. They are reversible and there is no bothersome fly in pants! The materials are designed to be sensory-friendly. You can choose from classic and sporty styles. (4,5,6)

An inspiration to many families ahead of her

It is an inspiration to see someone like Ms. Thierry take matters into her own hands and come up with innovative ways to help people with autism. Her family and friends have collaborated in this solution, and surely many other families in the world will be inspired. As she says, “We’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re taking what’s out there and adapting it.”

Sources for this article include:
(1) pediatrics.aappublications.org
(2) www.cdc.gov
(3) www.cdc.gov
(4) observer.com
(5) www.independencedayclothing.com
(6) www.youtube.com

Image source: www.independencedayclothing.com

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