Updated: May 17, 2019
If you’ve got any knowledge of autism you know that the universal symbol for all things autistic is the multi-colored puzzle pieces. I’m sure that at one time they served a purpose, though I have no clue what that would have been. I do know that now they're just accepted, and in case you can’t tell already, I am NOT a fan of this symbol of who we are and what we bring to the table. And I’m far from the only one.
I recently had a conversation with my friend Angel about this subject and she said she hoped we could find a way to get rid of the puzzle pieces altogether. I wholeheartedly agreed.
To me, the puzzle piece symbolizes that you have no clue about anything surrounding autism and that it’s a puzzle. Only it’s not a puzzle. We all have a clue about who we are.
We’re people who have brains wired differently than the majority of society. Nothing too puzzling about that.
The puzzle pieces were first adopted in 1999 by the Autism Society and they technically still hold the trademark on it, though they freely allow others to use the puzzle pieces.
Recently the infinity symbol with a rainbow of colors has popped up as a newer symbol for autism and I like the direction they’re going with the infinity thing, except that the way the colors are arranged, it looks very much like a symbol for the LBGTQ community.
There’s nothing wrong with a symbol looking like it represents the LBGTQ community if it’s indeed representing that community. The rainbow colors are associated with this community, so let the community have them and let’s find something else.
If we could somehow find a way to color he infinity symbol so that it's uniquely ours and doesn’t immediately bring to mind other groups, that would be sweet.
A simple Google search shows that blue is the primary color representing autism, however, many lists do NOT show blue as an autism color.
Interesting. Could it be propaganda?
Personally, I associate blue with Autism Speaks, an organization that I don’t support because they spent years and millions of dollars in donations looking for a cure for autism, when there isn’t one. They also went many years from their inception without an autistic board member until recently adding a member who is on the spectrum.
That’ll happen when two grandparents with I’m sure good hearts, started a charity to find a cure for their autistic grandson. Good idea for the charity, but poor execution for something that’s not a disease and therefore can’t have a cure.
Many adults and parents of kids on the spectrum aren’t fans of this charity and use the phrase, “Autism speaks, but they don’t speak for me.” So, for the Autism Speaks angle alone, I would do away with the blue ribbon as a symbol for autism.
That doesn’t leave us with a lot of choices to replace the puzzle pieces with and I’m not trying to change the world with a single blog post, however, I do have one (I think) pretty amazing suggestion to implement because I know the puzzle pieces have to go. Like, now.
I like purple, but then I have a purple goatee, so I’m a bit biased when it comes to that color. However, a purple and silver infinity symbol with white lettering saying “Autism Awareness” coming up the middle of the infinity symbol from left to right would be awesome, but that’s just my opinion.
Close your eyes for a moment and picture it. It looks classy, right? It looks legit.
The purple screams “Royalty” to show that we can be great leaders and the silver shows value. It’s a rare, valuable substance. Just as we are.
What’s your opinion? Do you like the puzzle pieces? Do you prefer the infinity symbol the way it is? Would you like to see it changed? Do you want something else altogether? Do you even care at all?