Shoppers at popular high street chain Home Bargains have slammed the brand over an ‘offensive’ slogan on a Christmas jumpers.
One parent took to Mumsnet to ask a forum whether she was being ‘unreasonable’ for finding the festive jumper offensive.
The jumper in question has a picture of a melted snowman on it, with the slogan: ‘I’m having a meltdown” reports Edinburgh Live.
Along with posting the image of the knitwear, she wrote: “I (have) 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.”
As described by 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.”
It sparked a debate on Mumsnet with some agreeing with the original statement and others claiming it is just a bit of fun.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it to be honest, just a bit of humour,” one said.
Another added: “Literally anyone and everyone can have a meltdown. Snowmen included. I like it.”
To get breaking news like this straight to your inbox, click here
The original poster then added: “I associate meltdown with autism but happy to accept that that’s just me.”
But others backed the mum up including one who said: “I’d say don’t wear it unless you’re ND. I’m autistic.”
A second added: “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.”
The thread then turned into a discussion as to 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.”
And 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 tantrums and the ND person is not only not offered the correct support they are often judged and treated appallingly for “misbehaving”.”
Home Bargains has been contacted for comment.