Why did I post this here? Well, for one thing, I'm super excited about all this (I immediately changed into the ask me about autism shirt and were it not for the rain, I would have put the bumper stickers on my car already). But for another, I think all of these are great examples of positive ways to spread autism understanding, and a far more productive alternative to the more common puzzle piece ribbon or "support autism awareness" t-shirts.
What sets the gear I purchased apart is that it explicitly seeks to help people understand and accept autistic people. When someone who knows little about autism looks at a shirt that says, "Support Autism Awareness," what does it teach them? Well, they learn two things. 1) The wearer knows someone autistic. And 2) Autism is something bad (because why else would you wear that t-shirt?). That's it. That's all it teaches. It may spark a conversation, in which the wearer could educate the other person about autism, which is a great way to spread understanding, but if that's your goal, better to wear a shirt that says, "Yes! You can ask me about autism!" You're more likely to spread understanding that way, since you're explicitly inviting people to talk, and you're also not sending the negative messages (because, really, you never see "awareness" shirts for anything good, it's always something bad).
All of these seek to get people questioning what they think they know about autism, get conversations going, and send anyone off who has seen them knowing a bit more about autistic people than they first did. And that's why I bought the gear in the first place.
If you're interested, by the way, here's a link to the page where I found them:http://www.cafepress.com/+autism+gifts. I am not at all affiliated with the page, just passing on the link. Diary of a Mom also has some great shirts herself. You can read her blog post about them and check them out here (http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/wear-the-change/). The title of her post was, "Wear the Change" which I think was very appropriate.