“So this just happened guys!” the 27-year-old model wrote on social media, alongside an image of herself getting inked.
Ribeiro went on to explain that while she had wanted to get a second tattoo for a while, she “couldn’t find anything meaningful enough till a meeting that I had [a] couple weeks ago about autism and kids with special needs.”
“Don’t know if you guys know and I was never open about it but my son was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago,” she wrote of her 10-year-old son, before adding that her first tattoo “is his name on the back of my neck.”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter
“I decided to do the symbol of autism (and kids with special needs),” Ribeiro wrote, adding that the symbol — a ribbon covered with a puzzle piece pattern — is “beautiful and perfect just the way I wanted [it] to be.”
“I’m so happy about it ❤️ it means A LOT to me!” she added, before showing off the actual inking on her side in a separate post.
In a message on her Instagram Story, Ribeiro explained that the puzzle piece pattern represents “the complexity of the autism spectrum.”
Ribeiro celebrated Alexandre’s 10th birthday in May, sharing a photo of the pair that appeared to be from a previous trip to Disney World.
“10 years old today 😭 they grow up so fast! Happy birthday to the most happy, sensitive and pure spirit person that I know ( and it’s not just because he’s my son 😜) you always bring light to whatever situation you are in. Love you so much,” she wrote, before adding a special message in her Brazilian tongue: “paizinho feliz aniversário 😍❤️”
Ahead of last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Ribeiro opened up about one of the biggest “wins” of her life as a parent: bringing her son over to America.
“In the beginning of my career I would have to go back and forth and was really upset,” she told Parents magazine. “I promised myself I am going to work hard and I am going to bring my son to live in New York. That was three years ago and I think that was a big win for sure.”
RELATED VIDEO: My Boys’: Victoria’s Secret Model Candice Swanepoel Is Pregnant with Another Son — See the Sweet Announcement
She also shared that while her career may be different than that of many single mothers, she still faces the same challenges that come with balancing her home life with her demanding schedule.
“I have the same responsibilities as a mom, which come before I do my glam or whatever it is. People sometimes don’t realize it’s so hard,” she explained. “The other day I had to miss his hip-hop presentation at school because I had to work.”
“It hurts sometimes, not being there for them, but we are doing this for them,” she added.