19-year-old Jack Stockmal is kind, considerate, and intelligent, but his autism makes transposing thoughts and feelings into words a challenge. One particular way he’s comfortable communicating verbally is by complimenting others on their T-shirts. So naturally, Jack’s mother Carrie Spott noticed her son’s name printed across a stranger’s shirt while en route to Los Angeles.

She saw the JACK tee first in airport security, again at her gate, and finally, one seat over on the plane. As if that wasn’t coincidence enough, she was surprised to hear it represented a photo and video studio. Carrie is the Head of Business Development at Northern Lights Family of companies, a bi-coastal creative and production resource with five companies under it’s umbrella. She knew that the connection to his mom’s industry would make the shirt even more significant to Jack.

Carrie reached out to our client services team with her story, and by the next week Jack had his own JACK shirt. Aside from his penchant for graphic tees, Jack gives T-shirt compliments because he loves to make others feel special. He also feels important and included when he’s able to contribute toward conversation in a meaningful way.

When asked what others should keep in mind while communicating with people on the spectrum, Carrie advised to always presume competence and intelligence. “Don’t talk to them like they are little kids – unless they are,” she urged. Jack’s lack of verbal response does not imply a lack of understanding; he can also express himself through letterboarding and writing, and he has plenty to say.

We hope that his new tee will make Jack feel just as special as he always strives to make others

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