By Thaddeus Brown, Main Street Nashville
NASHVILLE, TN — A Nashville apparel and clothing line is raising awareness for autism with the help and inspiration of a 10-year-old child.
Founded by Ebony Braden, Amare Strong Apparel sells clothing, bracelets, and more, to help raise Awareness and Acceptance for people on the autism spectrum.
“I know the struggles and money should never be the reason our children and young adults on the spectrum aren’t getting the resources they need to excel in life,” she said.
Among those who she is raising awareness for is her 10-year-old semi non-verbal autistic son, Amare.
Born in the month of April, which is coincidentally autism awareness month, he is the inspiration behind the movement.
Last March, Braden was in the middle of transferring Amare to a different school, but it was delayed due to the tornados that Davidson County experienced.
Shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc, which delayed the process even more.
That led to Braden taking Amare out of school and homeschooling him, something she feels was the best decision she could make.
While Amare was improving his communication, reading, and math, Braden said that she knew her son would need professional assistance.
She also wanted him to be surrounded by other kids so that he could make friends.
Thus, Amare Strong Apparel was born, and the support and funds raised through the sales helped provide the resources that have led to Amare recently joining school once again.
But Braden explains that the apparel line does not stop with just Amare, she wants others who are struggling with such problems to know they are not alone.
A percentage of all profits from Amare Strong Apparel will be used to help families facing similar difficulties.
“My goal is to help raise money for programs and services that may not be accessible for some families, including ours, due to health insurance not funding properly or financial hardship,” she said.
Braden hopes the inspiration she receives from her son is shared with everybody, as the apparel continues to spread throughout Middle Tennessee.
On some of the apparel, the quote “We Are Not Our Circumstances” is stamped on the front.
It is a saying that symbolizes the entire apparel line according to Braden.
“A lot of people become caught up in their circumstances and eventually become a product of them, whether it is dealing with autism or dealing with anything else in life,” she said. “In Amare’s case, we are not going to be stuck in this bubble of what people’s perception of autism is.”
“If you put in the work, no matter what circumstance it is, you can ride above what those circumstances are trying to make you become,” she said.
For additional information on Amare Strong Apparel, you can visit their Facebook page.