Autism Tattoos: A Growing Trend for Awareness and Support

autism tattoo

Courtesy: Inked for Autism, Tattoos With A Purpose

With autism now affecting 1 in 110 children (with a much higher unofficial rate), you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is not directly or indirectly affected by the disorder. Because of these high numbers and the growing popularity of tattoos in recent years, many tattoo shops across the country are seeing a large spike in demand for autism-themed artwork.

There are also a growing number of tattoo parlors that are partnering up with autism organizations to help raising awareness and funding, with a portion of proceeds going towards treatment and services. For example, Expressions Ink in Wausau, Wisconsin is a tattoo shop that has previously donated funds from its autism-themed work.

Adding to the growing popularity of autism tattoos, Inked for Autism, Tattoos With a Purpose is a Facebook Page established in July of 2011 for the purpose of recognizing "those who have branded their bodies in honor of someone or themselves with autism." The group has a great gallery of user-submitted photos from people who have been inked with autism-themed tattoos.

I think the idea of tattoos for autism fundraising is a great concept that has the potential to gain some serious momentum. If you are a tattoo artist (or shop owner) and are interested in donating a portion of your proceeds from your autism-related tattoos, please email us with your information and we’ll add you to this page as a resource. Be sure to include where you are located and a website or Facebook Page link. 

When choosing where to donate your funds, be sure to do your homework and consulte with your customer on what organization is the best fit for you both. Not all autism organizations are the same, so do some research and choose wisely! If you need help selecting, see our foundation and organization page for some ideas.

For those who are interested in getting a tattoo, keep in mind that this is a permanent commitment and a decision that should not be taken lightly. Check out this tattoo advice page for some great tips and ideas if you are in the market for a tattoo. If you do make the leap, or have done so already, be sure to email us your tattoo photo and we’ll be sure to share with our readers (no inappropriate pics, please).

10 Responses to Autism Tattoos: A Growing Trend for Awareness and Support

  1. Penny Fox says:

    I have an autism tattoo on my right ankle. My daughter has autism so I put her name surrounded by four puzzle pieces. I love it. I say people should go for it. Tattoos are a way of expressing ourselves. I LOVE my daughter!!! While autism doesn’t define her, it is very much a part of her so, while I wish life could be easier I do not hide away from the diagnosis. My car has the magnets, I wear the shirts and now my skin wears the art. ♥♥♥♥

  2. Vicki says:

    Id say go for it too, i have the puzzle pièces around my wrist for my son…..

  3. erin says:

    I plan on getting a puzzle piece also and I feel proud of my desicion. My son is amazing and love talking about and explaining autism. I am excited to get this tattoo!

  4. Joey says:

    I am 17 and soon after my 18th birthday I plan on getting a backpiece of puzzle pieces I have triplet cousins effected by autism and my best friend is a high functioning asperger’s autistic. Not only is my life full of many piece but those pieces are beautiful parts of this world. The art on my body will soon represent my love for all the pieces of life. Autism does not define me but it is a huge part of my life. My work in autism will hopefully change everyone’s ideas about the “crazy” kids with autism out there, aka my people. :)

  5. Billie Marie Lewis says:

    After I saw this article on Facebook, I talked to the owner of the tattoo shop that my husband and I go to, to see if he would be interseted in holding an “Inked for Autism” fundraising event in the month of April to help raise awareness. Our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome this year, so my husband and I are both going to get something in honor of him. Not only did Joe say yes to the idea, but Beneath the Skin Tattoo in Pottstown, PA will be donating 50% of the profits from our event on April 25, 2012 to raise awareness. What a blessing!
    If anyone lives in our area, and is interested in getting a tattoo for a loved one, please call Joe at 484-524-8151 to RSVP to the event and to schedule your appointment. You can check out their work on their website:

  6. Our “Inked for Autism” Fundraising Event is on Wednesday 4/25/12! I am so excited! I am thankful to Autism Key and Inked for Autism, Tattoos with a Purpose for bringing this idea to the public. I saw the article and decided to find out if Beneath the Skin Tattoo, the tattoo shop that we go to, would have any interest. They were very interested and are generously donating 50% of the proceeds to Autism awareness. Thanks for the great articles, and the inspiration for us to find ways to raise awareness!

  7. crystal russell says:

    my 12 year old son has autism.his name is donovan,and he is so smart and im so proud of him..people dont understand him the way i do.hes very polite and always has a smile on his face,i love him so much and hes my boy and i wouldnt want him any other way

  8. Patti says:

    Joey…. I wish you lived near me… my 16 year old needs domeone like you in his school. Wish there were more like you >3

  9. Angelina says:

    I just did a blog post about autism tattoos. You can check it out here.

  10. Treva says:

    heard an event was coming to Amarillo, Texas. Any basis for this? am interested in participating

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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