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Teen Invents Sensory-Friendly Shirt with Built-In Fidget Toys for People with Autism

17-year-old Jose Rodriguez is the founder and CEO of his very own company. But the Rhode Island teenager couldn’t have gotten there without his younger brother, Joel, who inspired him.

Joel is on the autism spectrum and fidgets and moves around a lot, trying to get the sensory input he needs to cope with the world around him. Jose wanted to do something to help him fidget less, or at least in a less disruptive manner when he’s in public.


Now big brother Jose is using fashion to help people like his brother. He has been making t-shirts with a grommet added to the bottom to hold a keychain or other fidget toys for the wearer to play with anytime they feel like they need to. He also added other fidget gadgets to the bottoms of his original shirts.


“I got his input on it. he said it was awesome,” Jose recalls. “And we got the first one, threw it on him, and it went well. He loved it.”


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