Help design our hidden disability badge

The restrictions of social distancing during the Covid-19 Lockdown has highlighted an issue for the autistic community regarding the identification of hidden disability in public spaces such as parks and supermarkets.

For some people the Sunflower Lanyard can be a helpful way to get extra support if necessary, but other people may prefer something more discreet that continues to raise autism awareness.

So we are asking for your help to design a pin badge for Autistic people to wear that highlights hidden disability in a more discreet way.

We would love to see your designs!

Please email your pin badge submission to serendipity@autismhampshire.org.uk

Thank you to those who have submitted a pin badge design for our autism awareness pin.

Here are the designs that were submitted. We hope to turn one of the designs into a pin badge which we can provide to people as part of our Autism Alert Programme in the future.

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Here is some background about one of the badge designs

The parents who submitted the design of the woodpecker badge told us how they explained autism to their daughter through the story of a woodpecker living with city pigeons. She is very proud to discover she is a "woodpecker".

The woodpecker lives in the city with the pigeons. The pigeons seem to instinctively know how to bob and interact with each other. The woodpecker doesn't. The woodpecker tries hard to copy, but this sometimes looks quite mechanical and is really tiring. So the woodpecker often goes off by herself...which she loves but the pigeons find quite rude. The pigeons love cooing to each other. The woodpecker is often silent. 'How odd' the pigeons think! They don't realise she has lots to say, but just isn't sure how. The pigeons can make a tremendous noise when they are together, lots of them bustling around. This makes the woodpeckers ears and feathers hurt. The pigeons loves feasting on all sort of scraps and bits they find around the city - the woodpecker can't stand the smell/sight of some of the food. But the pigeons also think the woodpeckers diet is very limited and a little strange.

The woodpecker loves banging her beak into trees. Tap tap tap. Over and over she goes. The pigeons stop, they stare - "what are you doing?" they shriek! "Stop it at once." The woodpecker tries to stop, but starts to feel more and more scratchy inside until ....the woodpecker explodes and possibly pecks at a pigeon or two, she can't really remember. She hears the pigeons talking about her - worried, angry. She thinks there must be something wrong with her, until one day....

...she goes out by herself to the common and meets another bird. She tells the other bird her story, and the bird explains she's not broken - she's just a woodpecker. She see things differently and thrives in a different environment. Knowing who she is helps her be who she is. She still spends time with the pigeons ..,.. but now knowing she's a wonderful woodpecker, not a broken pigeon.

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