Mattel and Character.com collaborate with the National Autistic Society to create autism friendly clothing range

To mark World Autism Acceptance Week, the National Autistic society has teamed up with Mattel and Character.com to create a new inclusive clothing range featuring Thomas and Friends.

The comfortable clothing has been developed for young autistic people, giving children the option to choose from lots of different Thomas & Friends™ characters. Available to purchase now, the range was launched to coincide with World Autism Acceptance Week with 20 per cent from every sale being donated to the National Autistic Society.

Inclusive design

The National Autistic Society is the leading UK charity for supporting people on the autistic spectrum and their families. Influenced by the results of a 2021 survey, the range’s inclusive design includes pull on clothing; easy dressing clothing; no labels; no buttons; velcro fastenings. These factors were previously identified as important criteria when buying clothes for autistic children under 16-years-old.

Commissioned by Mattel, the new clothing line has taken these factors into consideration and produced clothing made from soft fabric which can easily be put on including loose-fitting t-shirts, jumpers, and tracksuits.

Aimed at children between the ages of three and 16, the new clothing has been tried and tested within focus groups at Helen Allison School where pupils loved the products.

Removing stress

The range will not only benefit young people, but relieve stress for parents.

“Parents and autistic young people often tell us how sensory sensitivities can mean that children on the autism spectrum struggle with certain clothes,” offers Peter Watt, director of national programmes at the National Autistic Society. “For some, a label on a t-shirt, a prominent seam, or certain fabrics could be incredibly itchy, distracting or even physically painful.

“Finding the right clothing can make shopping difficult, time consuming, and stressful. So, it’s really great to have the chance to develop this autism friendly collection.”

The range is available exclusively at Character.com, a parent-founded company offering clothing featuring more than 150 popular characters from Peppa Pig to Star Wars.

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