Sunday, February 21, 2016

Autism: Hashtag # TAGS

By Pamela B. Mari
What is it about tags that drives our kids on the autism spectrum crazy?  Well, most people would say it’s a sensory issue.  Those scratchy, itchy tags feel like a million small biting ants against our children’s skin.  And unless you are on a daily shopping mission to find clothing manufactured without tags you will have to deal with them.
They come in many shapes, sizes, textures and variety of placements.  You have your normal behind the neck shirt tag.  Ok no biggee.  Easily removed with scissors.  Then you have the “sewn in” tag.  These come in many varieties.  You have the small horizontal, only sewn at the ends tags or the mega huge square sewn all around the outside tag.  This requires the parent to use the super duper tag remover tool known as a “seam ripper”.  The reason is these mega tags have over one million (or so it seems (seams)) (pun intended) stitches in them.  But, if you’ve got the patience you can persevere and get these stinkers out.  
Then of course you have the sneaky, “I’m sewn to the bottom edge of the shirt” type of tag.  Now this demon appears totally harmless and should really cause no sensory issues as it is usually affixed in an area that rests on the pant leg of the wearer, not the body itself.  
And parent be aware that these demon “tags” can make themselves known at the most inappropriate times.  Meaning the tag does not become a problem until you are: a. in the car,  b. walking into school, c. waiting for the bus in rain/snow or any given time or place that you do not, unless you are “super Mom”, happen to have scissors or seam ripper in hand.
However, these type of tags now bring us to another realm.
This is where the autism comes in as opposed to sensory issues.  This presents itself as a hate for tags on EVERYTHING.  
Tags on pillows.  Tags on stuffed animals.  Tags on mattresses.  Any tag has got to go.  I can only assume that this is a rigidity of thought issue.  I hate tags on my clothes therefore even though a tag on a teddy bear is not bothering me, it’s a tag and it has to go.
As an autism parent you will never be able to give “hand me downs” away because you never know for sure what size clothing you are offering because there are no TAGS!!​
So go forth and gather your tools for the war on these vile little critters.

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