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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Proposed symbol for hidden disabilities taps into debate over disclosure

By Staff
Torstar News Service
Originally published March 1, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Last week, a Torstar News Service story about Toronto mother Farida Peters, who carries a sign alerting strangers that her 5-year-old son has autism, generated discussion about the issue of disclosing invisible disabilities and public reaction.

Despite mixed feelings about labelling her son, Peters found the sign has made their daily commute on the TTC easier. Instead of the annoyance and tart comments she used to encounter, passengers have reacted with support and encouragement. If he becomes disruptive or upset on a crowded subway car, they are more understanding.

Brydges says while people can be intolerant when faced with behaviour they don’t understand, providing an explanation like Peters’ sign can shift the dynamic. That’s where her symbol comes in.
“Ultimately, I developed this for people who need help when they are least able to ask for it,” she says.

The entire article is here.