3 min read

The Girl with the Autism Tattoo

By Sara Sanders on May 17, 2020 5:02:48 PM

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Meet Quincy Bowles. 

On her right arm, she has a tattoo with two puzzle pieces and two hands, a symbol of her journey with children with autism. 

We met Quincy, the School-Age Program Coordinator with Respite Care, while volunteering through Blue Margin's Community Works program.  We joined Quincy and a group of Respite Care's children with developmental disabilities on a field trip to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.  We had a great time exploring the museum with this amazing group of kids! 

One of the gifts of volunteering is meeting the enthusiastic professionals, like Quincy, who dedicate themselves to amazing causes.  We wanted to know more about Quincy’s story, and of course, her tattoo.

Quincy grew up in Tennessee surrounded by kids with special needs – a cousin with autism, another with Asperger’s Syndrome, and classmates in her special needs immersive elementary school.  In the fifth grade, Quincy’s teacher asked her if she’d be willing to befriend Reid K., a boy with autism who was often teased.  Quincy’s only thought was “why on earth would someone have to ask me to be friends with him?”  And so began her journey. By the end of her senior year in high school, she had already worked with more than a dozen families and organizations in the autism community, and had written her thesis on adolescent autism.

Armed with real-world experience and enthusiasm, she moved to Colorado and was hired by Respite Care – a non-profit that offers short term care for children with developmental disabilities while providing a needed break to their families.  For Quincy, Respite Care was a perfect fit, and an instant family in her new home.

Respite Care’s approach to working with children matches Quincy’s beliefs – a child with a disability is a child first and foremost.  At the same time, Quincy knows autism is widely misunderstoodThrough it all, she remains encouraged, having seen countless times how good care can help those with autism engage with their world in a productive, healthy way. And that is what Quincy focuses on every day – observing how children with autism process their worlds, and imparting the adaptive techniques (such as memorization) needed to thrive.

In April (which is Autism Awareness Month), Quincy decided to get a tattoo that reflects her passion for these amazing kids. The puzzle pieces are a common symbol for autism, and the helping hands are for the work she does - not to “cure” or “fix” autism - but to help kids thrive. 

The Blue Margin team is deeply honored to work with people like Quincy, now known to us as the girl with the autism tattoo, and we're grateful for the opportunity to encourage those who tirelessly help others fit the pieces of their lives together.

Sara Sanders

Written by Sara Sanders