Whether you call it Autism Awareness Month or Autism Acceptance Month, April is all about spreading the news about folks on the spectrum. But for some people, just one month isn't enough. They want to honor the people in their lives with autism all year long. What better way to do that then getting inked?
Tattoos and autism have become so intertwined there's even a month-long national fundraiser these days: Ink 4 Autism. It's turned the bastion of big, burly biker dudes into a place where moms and dads are heading in droves to get marked for life in honor of their kids.
Inspired? We're just getting started ...
Thomas "Docc" Nutter, owner of Docc's Custom Ink Tattoo Studio in Bonne Terre, Missouri, tells The Stir that joining the cause has gotten a response like no other charity work he's been involved in. People started calling before April 1, eager to get their ink done before the month had even started. And even if they don't want to get inked; they're dropping in with donations.
With a brother on the spectrum, Nutter said this is a cause that was near and dear to his heart, but it was when he learned that Ink 4 Autism only earned around $2,400 last year that he really kicked into gear. Studios are asked to kick in donations during the month. Some donate a percentage of the cost of all tattoos for the month, others a portion of the cost of each autism tat in the month of April as a donation to Autism Speaks. His studio is sending 100 percent of the profits; and he's pushing for others around the country to match his guys' efforts.
We here at The Stir would love to see it happen too, so here's some inspiration, offered up by the guys at Docc's and by moms, dads, teachers, aunts and other folks who have gotten inked for autism.
Maybe you'll see your next tattoo.
Do you have autism-related ink? What does it look like?
Image via Inked for Autism, Tattoos With a Purpose
Artist Joe Helm of Docc's Custom Ink Tattoo Studio in Bonne Terre, Missouri, created this Rubik's cube tattoo for Kathy Pruitt. It was the second autism-related tat done at the studio this month. There's no limit to what can be done for an autism-themed tattoo!