Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro has opened up about the powerful meaning behind her latest tattoo, revealing that the ink is a tribute to her 10-year-old son, Alexandre, who has autism.
In a moving Instagram post, the 27-year-old explained she already has one tattoo honouring Alexandre, but was inspired to go under the needle again after attending a meeting about children who had special needs.
“Don’t know if you guys know and I was never open about it but my son was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago,” she wrote in the caption. “My first tattoo is his name on the back of my neck and finally I found what I wanted to be my second. I decided to do the symbol of autism (and kids with special needs) as a tattoo and it’s beautiful and perfect just the way I wanted to be.”
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The colourful ribbon design symbolises “the complexity of the autism spectrum”, she added in an Instagram story. The origins of this symbol go back to 1963 when Gerald Gasson, a parent and board member for the National Autistic Society described autism as a 'puzzling' condition.
The puzzle pieces of different colours and shapes, are now said to represent the diversity of people and families affected by the condition. The bright colours represent hope, hope that greater awareness and support will better the lives of people with autism.
Autism spectrum disorder is a persistent developmental disorder, characterised by difficulty communicating and interacting socially. The latest statistics show that around 164,000 Australians, or 1 in 150 people.