Parents and Celebrities Collaborate on Autism ID Jewelry Line to Raise Awareness, Advocacy

“We want our children with autism to be safe and understood in their community,” said Grammy-award winning producer/songwriter Terry Lewis. “People on the spectrum communicate and handle social situations in a way that not everyone understands.”

Parents and celebrities are closing off Autism Awareness Month in a big way by joining forces to create autistic identification jewelry in the form of bracelets and necklaces to protect individuals on the spectrum and raise awareness for the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S.

There are a number of cases in which individuals with autism have been arrested when law enforcement officials misinterpret interactions with those on the spectrum. Just last month, a 10-year-old Florida boy diagnosed with autism was arrested at school, drawing national attention.

The founders behind the idea are looking to collaborate with jewelry designers to create a line of identification bracelets and necklaces so that law enforcement and the community at large are aware when they are interacting with individuals on the autistic spectrum.

“We want our children with autism to be safe and understood in their community,” said Grammy-award winning producer/songwriter Terry Lewis. “People on the spectrum communicate and handle social situations in a way that not everyone understands. The ID bracelets will act as a conduit for the public to be aware of when they encounter individuals with autism and how to appropriately interact with them.”

Current collaborators on the project include Lewis, comedian/actor DL Hughley and financier Charles Alexander, founders of Artists for Autism; and Ahmad & Debra Islam, founders of Gabriel’s Horn, an autism advocacy foundation.

Alexander and Islam’s families, who both have teenage boys on the autism spectrum, envisioned the idea in response to social justice issues impacting individuals with autism.

“I don’t want my son to become a headline of what can go wrong in situations with law enforcement,” Debra Islam said. “As a mother, I know the ID jewelry will give me peace of mind as well as many other parents who have children on the autism spectrum.”

In addition to the Autism identification jewelry line, collaborators are creating a PSA video tailored to educate law enforcement on recognizing the jewelry, when they encounter people on the spectrum and how best to communicate with them.

“Through education and advocacy, we can minimize misunderstandings and ensure our children are protected,” Alexander said. “1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. Let’s make sure they’re safe at school, in public and during interactions with law enforcement.”

Collaborators plan to launch the project fully Labor Day Weekend 2017…

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