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Together

Years ago, too many to admit, when I was an undergraduate at Northwestern, I was desperately looking for a summer job. I wanted to stay in Chicago for the summer and not return to my small hometown in southeast Michigan. I responded to a vague advertisement in the school newspaper and, before I knew it, I was working with a 4 year-old-boy with autism at a summer camp. After my senior year of college, I spent one final summer with this young boy, who was now 8. I lived with the family and began to understand what life was like with a person on the spectrum. Rather than pursue my PHD in history, I decided to immerse myself in the world of autism. I was a paraeducator for a school year in a different small town in Indiana, working with a middle school student with autism. I quickly knew I found my niche. I attended graduate school to train to work with people with autism. Twelve years later, I am working as an autism specialist, with a caseload of about 75 clients aging from 3 to 60. I love my job, but boy can it be exhausting. One night, I was preparing for a weekend outing with six clients. We were going to a local arcade. After weeks of preparation, I realized I wanted some way to help the community understand and accept any situations that might be confusing. I didn’t want t-shirts or lanyards or backpacks. Then I saw this wristband that said, “I have autism.” I knew my clients would not want to wear something quite that blatant. Then, I found TOGETHER. The puzzle pieces are the classic symbols for autism. The word TOGETHER embodied what we were doing as a group and what I wanted from the community. I bought some for the group, then I bought more for more clients, and then I bought some for myself. Now, I’m hooked. When the Bros say “Zox are more than just a wristband”, they have captured the essence of the brand - their uniqueness and their togetherness. Their ability to demonstrate individuality all while bringing people together in conversation and community. When we were buying tokens at the arcade, the employee at the cash register saw my Zox and said, “I have a brother with autism.” Zox: Mission accomplished.