Lauren Thierry knew there had to be a better way than setting her alarm an hour early to make sure she had time to help her 17-year-old son with autism, Liam, get dressed for school. Liam couldn't get dressed himself, and Thierry faced time-consuming challenges with buttons, zippers, collars, tags, and fronts and backs that slowed down the morning routine. She knew she couldn't be the only parent experiencing these frustrations, so she pursued an idea that has now become a rapidly expanding clothing line called Independence Day.
The line features soft, sensory-friendly clothing free of buttons, zippers, collars, and tags, and everything can be worn inside out and frontward or backward. Oh, and the brilliance doesn't stop there: there's an option to get a GPS device built in to the clothing, because Thierry knows that many children and teenagers with autism sometimes wander off.
"Independence Day is committed to the notion that being safe — and staying safe — are basic human rights. That's why we have partnered with Phoenix 5 Global Tracking to provide you a convenient and easy way to keep track of your loved one," the site informs.
With no fashion background, Thierry partnered with designer Dalila Anderson-Gunn to create their line that now includes t-shirts, dresses, tunics, leggings, and cargo pants.
While some have told Thierry her clothing line limits children with autism by giving in to the idea that they might not learn the skill of dressing themselves, the mother says she believes "if we can just remove the obstacle entirely, why not?"