Home Bargain’s ‘offensive’ new Christmas jumper has been slammed by some of its shoppers.
It all started when a parent took to Mumsnet and shared a screenshot of the piece of clothing that features a melting snowman alongside the words: “I’m having a meltdown.”
Alongside the photo, the mum 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 [dear daughter] so that might be colouring my view slightly.”
According to the National Autistic Society, the term ‘meltdown’ is used to describe a person reacting intensely to an ‘overwhelming situation,’ which can then lead them to temporarily lose control over their behaviour.
Although the parent shared why it could be considered insensitive, many people took to the comments to disagree.
One fellow Mumsnet user penned: “My six-year-old son is autistic but I don’t take offence to it at all. Meltdown is a widely used word that as has been said above, isn’t ‘copyrighted’ by the autistic community. I just think it’s a pretty rubbish joke on a fairly unattractive looking jumper.”
In agreement, a second said: “Why? Meltdown is not a term exclusively for the use of neurodiverse people. And I speak as a parent to a neurodiverse person.”
“The term ‘meltdown’ does not have its roots in the autistic community. It is not officially a word specifically for people with autism. If you look it up in the dictionary it means an emotional outburst, autism is not mentioned at all,” a third pointed out.
However, some people took to the forum and said they could understand why the mum’s feelings were hurt by the jumper’s phrase.
Sympathising, one person commented: “I get that it might seem unfair, but it does not have a definition that only applies to autistic people. Language develops. It developed from its original meaning to be used in the autism community, and it’s developed again to include toddlers.”
Home Bargains is yet to respond.
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