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A Christmas jumper from Home Bargains has come under fire from shoppers after claims the slogan is “offensive”.
A mum shared the clothing in question to MumsNet to ask whether she was being unreasonable for taking issue with the item.
The woman was unhappy with a jumper that features a picture of a melted snowman, with text that reads: “I’m having a meltdown.”
Along with posting the image of the jumper, she wrote: “I seen this when I was in store today and it just didn’t sit right with me. I do have a neurodiverse DD so that might be colouring my view slightly.”
The post led to a debate on the site, with mums split over whether there was a problem or not.
One woman said: “I’d say don’t wear it unless you’re ND. I’m autistic.”
A second agreed with the original poster, saying: “Not just you op but a lot of people in here are very ableist, perhaps without realising. It’s an awful jumper that makes light of being autistic.”
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However, not everyone agreed and some thought the jumper was just an innocent piece of clothing.
One said: “I don’t see anything wrong with it to be honest, just a bit of humour.”
Another added: “Literally anyone and everyone can have a meltdown. Snowmen included.
“I like it.”
The mother who originally posted the photo then added: “I associate meltdown with autism but happy to accept that that’s just me.”
The thread then turned into a debate about whether the term “meltdown” was exclusively related to autistic people.
One asked: “Is the expression ‘having a meltdown’ particularly related to autism? I had no idea. I thought it was a widely used expression.”
According Edinburgh Live someone replied, explaining: “The issue is that the language has been appropriated by the NT community to mean a tantrum, and so now, the neurodiverse community have no language that expresses the biological phenomena that they actually experience during a ‘meltdown’.
“And worse, when a ND person does experience a ‘meltdown’ it’s conflated with tantrum and the ND person is not only not offered the correct support they are often judged and treated appallingly for ‘misbehaving’.”
According to autism.org.uk, “a meltdown is an intense response to an overwhelming situation. It happens when someone becomes completely overwhelmed by their current situation and temporarily loses control of their behaviour”.
Home Bargains has been contacted for comment.
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