What Does The Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Icon Mean
The jigsaw puzzle is often used as a symbol in autism but is rarely explained. I had a look on Google and couldn’t find any information about it. What do you believe it means? Just to clarify I mean the actual jigsaw puzzle icon, not the jigsaw ribbon.
Well, the NAS says this on the topic of the puzzle piece:
Quote:The puzzle piece is so effective because it tells us something about autism: our children are handicapped by a puzzling condition; this isolates them from normal human contact and therefore they do not ‘fit in’.
From some of the comments I’d see it as the Autism mystery.From an nt perspective that could mean things like:Is it a disorder?How can they be so intelligent if it is a disorder? For example Einstein was Autistic, the most intelligent people in society could also be Autistic, seems strange.Why does it affect virtually all brain activity and can leave someone unable to walk talk or know anyone is there, right up to very high functioning?For Autistics, all of the above plus:Are we aliens, were we put here by them?Are we here to save humanity or change things for the better?How come we are incorruptible? How cool is that!Why are we more logical and not emotionally wrapped up in people or death?How can we be so different to others and leave nts so baffled? We could just be different to them rather than having a disorder. If they were the minority then they’d be the problem.I prefer to look at it positively.
Autism No Puzzle Nothing Wrong With Us
Many autistic people strongly dislike the puzzle piece as a symbol for autism, writes Paula Jessop, Altogether Autisms former autistic advisor.;
THE PUZZLE piece as a symbol for autism was originally used by the National Autism Society in UK in 1963. Time went by and it was used to represent autism by an organisation in America, Autism Speaks.
Autism Speaks then went on to use the puzzle piece in very big Autism Awareness campaigns in America, leading to the puzzle piece being adopted as the symbol for autism.
But the problem for many autistic people, is that Autism Speaks campaigns were particularly negative and problematic to autistic people.
Autism awareness campaigns historically have been modelled on campaigns to raise awareness of diseases, illnesses like cancer.; Early autism awareness promotion was based on organisations and parents belief that autism is a disease. A tragic and terrible one.
Autism Speaks was the biggest organisation to approach autism awareness from this perspective that autism is a disease requiring fixing, curing. Therefore, their campaigns were the most hurtful, upsetting and offensive to autistic people.
She spoke of these urges in the film, while her daughter was in the room and could hear what she was saying. Autistic people continue to be horrified there was ever a time it was seemingly socially acceptable for people to discuss killing us while we listened.
Why I No Longer Use The Puzzle Piece In My Jewelry Creations
The puzzle piece is becoming more and more stigmatized in the autistic community, and I completely understand why. As the symbol becomes more known to originally representsomething missing from autistics, the more the autistic community is rejecting its use.
By Baylie Nixon
Its been too long since Ive written my last article. In addition to the chaos befalling the world right now, a lot has happened in my own life too. I am finally finished with school, board certified to practice medical technology, and ready to enter the workforce. I am now officially a board member of the Autism Society of Oregon.
What is most relevant to this article, is that I did a major audit of my merchandise because Ive decided to no longer use the puzzle piece in my work.
Even the Autism Society of Oregon is replacing its usage with the rainbow infinity. To me, thats huge.
Id go into more detail as to why thats huge, but I think thats for another article. For this blog entry, I want to stick to why Im not using the puzzle piece anymore, why it took me as long as it did to not use it, and why I actually dont feel that upset with people who still do.
I used the puzzle piece for as long as I did because developed a special connection to the symbol long ago, as early as middle school. Before the knowledge of the history of the puzzle piece became as prominent as it is today, I took it to mean that we are diverse and meant to have our own way of fitting in.
Don’t Miss: Schedule For Autism
The Inception Of The Autism Puzzle Piece
History hasnt treated people on the autism spectrum too kindly. Although autism as we know it was only described in the 1960s in the UK, this doesnt mean autism is a modern condition. What we now understand as autistic traits would have been misclassified, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood for millennia before the differences in the way our minds worked began to be understood.
In the 1960s a group of parents of autistic children gathered in London to form the Autistic Childrens Aid Society, which would go on to become the National Autistic Society. The group was set up to raise awareness of autism.
The puzzle piece logo started here with the organisation and was designed to show that autism was puzzling to parents, with a crying child in the middle to show us theyre suffering. There are a couple of things that should trouble us about this inception story.
Saying Goodbye To The Puzzle Piece And Introducing The Infinity Logo
So now I have my new logo.
Im a little in love.
See, infinity symbols are kind of my thing.
I have a tattoo designed that incorporates an infinity symbol.
I had rings with my best friend with infinity symbols.
Basic point: infinity symbols are my jam. And now I get to use one in my logo.
This new logo is no longer offensive and perfectly me.
So I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.
What did you think of the puzzle piece? What do you think of the new infinity logo?
Recommended Reading: Bubble Guppies Nonny Autistic
Something That Is Missing
The jigsaw piece also signifies that something is missing. That Autistic people are not whole. That they are less than human. But Autistic people dont believe they have something missing. Again, going through life as if the world thinks you are inferior is wearisome and discouraging.
Opening yourself up to the Autistic community and what they have to say can be eye-opening. What you think may be an important way to support your family and spread awareness about autism may actually be offensive to some. If we are serious about supporting the autistic community, we must begin by listening to them and believing that what they are saying is worth something.
The Autism Puzzle Piece Debate: Is It Time For A New Logo
The Autism Puzzle Piece logo, which is associated with autism and autistic people, is a controversial symbol that has divided the autism community for far too long. A topic which everyone has an opinion on, the Puzzle Piece logo debate is one which is far from over and, like the never-ending battle of whether pineapple belongs on pizza, it only grows more heated as time goes by.
With some stating that the Autism Puzzle Piece has long outgrown its welcome and others arguing that the symbol is here to stay, the Puzzle Piece logo is a hotly debated topic in autism circles. In fact, there have been countless forum discussions, blog posts and even one recent journal article dedicated to the perceptions of the Puzzle Piece logo. Yet we are still far from finding an answer to whether or not the Puzzle Piece should go.
That said, today I aim to add to the conversation as, like a puzzle itself, I hope that, by sharing my findings and feelings on the history of the Autism Puzzle Piece, I can help others build a complete picture/better understand their own feelings, regarding this ancient argument of puzzle pieces and autism.
Recommended Reading: Life Expectancy For Someone With Asperger\’s Syndrome
What Does All Of This Mean For Autistic People
As discussed above, the controversy and negative implications of the puzzle piece symbol stem from two main sources: the meanings and connotations of the shape and logos themselves, and the actions of organisations under this branding.
Starting with the puzzle piece shape itself, many studies have found that the symbol ;evokes negative connotations. One study states that participants explicitly associated the symbol with incompleteness, imperfection, and oddity, and organisations such as Learn From Autistics say that the puzzle piece implies confusion and mystery, something that is missing, and that autism is a problem that needs to be solved.
In addition to this, the National Autistic Societys use of a crying child on their puzzle piece logo and Autism Speaks use of the colour blue are seen to both spread the negative stereotypes that autism brings suffering and sadness, and that only people assigned male at birth can have autism.
All of this, alongside the actions of organisations which use puzzle piece branding, such as Autism Speaks, has led to the puzzle piece becoming a symbol of injustice and hate for the autistic community. What was once intended to be a symbol of autism awareness now perpetuates negative perceptions, stereotypes and behaviour towards people with ASC, leaving them more vulnerable to bullying, othering, isolation, abuse, and dehumanisation.
What Do I Think
In the beginning, I mentioned how the underlying issue is that allistic people are talking over autistic people. The puzzle piece is a symbol that was created by allistic people who wanted to emphasize the misery and mystery of autism. Im not miserable and Im not mysterious. Autistic people understand autism; we live and breathe autism 24/7. If were miserable, its because we live in a world that tries to tell us that we should be fixed, while talking over us in discussions about us.
Read Also: Does James Holzhauer Have Autism
Puzzle Piece The Meaning
With World Autism Awareness Day coming up, I thought about sharing my personal opinion on the puzzle piece symbol and ultimately the logo of Alma Autism. I don´t wish this to bring about discordance, on the contrary, I hope this will raise more awareness and understanding of how anyone and everyone has different opinions and different views in this world. .
I find it difficult to keep up with all the political correctness in the world these days. It seems like everything changes all the time, because someone was easily offended. Obviously words have power to make a change positively or negatively on someone´s life, but our actions say more than words and have a bigger impact for the better or worse.
Firstly I´d like to explain the background of the puzzle piece symbol, then give a different explanation to how many people portray it nowadays.
A lot of people still like the symbol as they say it reminds them each person is different within a wide spectrum and each person is still unique and has their own way of fitting into this world.
As mentioned above, the way we describe and our use of words will forever be changing from acceptable to unacceptable, back to being acceptable again. It a vicious circle, like, referring to autistic people as autistic, or people with autism. The debate will keep going on. However it´s important to understand and have awareness of what the meaning behind a label, logo, and symbol is.
Why A Puzzle Piece With Autism
Although there is controversy surrounding its use, the puzzle piece is a highly recognized symbol for autism spectrum disorders. This motif decorates everything from bumper stickers to t-shirts, and it means different things to different people. In many cases, it takes the form of a ribbon made out of rainbow puzzle pieces.
The Problem With The Autism Puzzle Piece
Image from asipages.com in an article explaining what the puzzle piece means.
For years, Autistic people have been condemning the use of the colorful jigsaw puzzle piece that stands as an international symbol for autism awareness. But their voices havent been able to overpower the media push to use the symbol. Its everywhere: on clothing, keychains, coffee mugs, license plates, organization logos and promotional materials. Many families use the logo to advertise autism awareness, their personal connection to autism, or their commitment to finding a cure. The symbol was designed to represent the complexity of autism and how little is known about it. On the surface, it seems like a memorable and harmless advocacy symbol. But I dont buy anything with a puzzle piece on it because of how many Autistics have condemned the use of this symbol. Certainly not ALL Autistics condemn the puzzle piece ; however, its important for neurotypicals to note that its not that some Autistic people dont like itits that they are deeply offended by it, and many NTs are unaware. As NTs, it is less important with how we interpret the puzzle piece, and critically important how the Autistic people in our lives perceive it.
The symbol of a bright, colorful, puzzle piece;signifies:
The History Of The Jigsaw Puzzle Ribbon
The autism symbol was created by the National Autistic Society in 1963. The first consideration for the design of the ribbon was its uniqueness because there were already a lot of colored ribbons back then that represent a wide array of causes. The society wanted to set themselves apart to gain more attention and awareness from the public.
Their official explanation of the design involves the condition being very puzzling, as well as the fact that those with the disorder are cut off from normal human interaction, effectively causing them not to fit in. This idea is pretty much being retained by current crusaders for the cause.
Through the years, the jigsaw puzzle symbol has meant different things for different people. For some, the puzzle ribbon represents the disorder that cannot be cracked but is not impossible to solve. For others, it represents the mechanical nature of people with autism who sometimes tend to act like robots. No matter what people think of the design or how they interpret it, the autism ribbon symbol has constantly been an avatar of hope for people with the disorder, their family members, their friends and even random strangers.
Read Also: Overwatch Symmetra Autistic
The Autism Symbol And Its Change Over The Years
The puzzle piece is a logo that is generally used as a universal symbol of autism spectrum disorder. However, in addition to the puzzle piece sign, which is considered the unofficial logo of autism, it is not known if it has drawn your attention, there are also different symbols used for the same purpose. The infinity sign can be an example of these different symbols. So, what are these autism symbols designed to tell us outside the autism community?
When you want to reach an image describing autism and autism awareness on the internet, it is very likely that you will see a puzzle piece symbol immediately. So what is this symbol used for? What is the history of this symbol or other autism symbols that are thought to draw attention to autism and autism awareness? Why are these symbols preferred by autism associations, parents of children with autism, and individuals who want to increase autism awareness?
First of all, knowing what these symbols mean gives us, we can start by having a little idea about this. If you want to know exactly what autism is, understand, or change your perspective on autism, you should be aware that the autism symbols you choose also have content. It is also always useful to know what the symbols mean and why the specific symbol is accepted.
The Story Of The Change In The Autism Symbol
Criticism and objections to the puzzle piece symbol caused the subject of changing the symbol to be transferred to the Autism Research Journal. The editors of the magazine took the first step in this regard by contacting scientists who think that the puzzle piece symbol should not be used as a universal symbol and who carry out serious studies on this issue. They started the process of change in the symbol, emphasizing that it is necessary to use a symbol that is more up-to-date, less aggressive, and more responsive to the needs in the 21st century, where we started to modernize.
Upon the onset of this change, they began to express the continuing concerns of the scientists who were voicing the problems posed by the puzzle piece symbol. Different symbols were started to be used and arrangements were made in the perspective of these symbols. There was serious criticism that the puzzle piece was fed by the idea that autism was seen as a deficiency and a problem.
After a long period of criticism, discussion, and exchange of ideas, it was agreed that the puzzle piece was no longer a suitable symbol to represent autism spectrum disorder. The move away from the puzzle piece and towards the new symbol design is not just about choosing how autism is represented. It represents a wider change.
Recommended Reading: Does Autism Come From The Mother Or Father
The Puzzle Piece And Lexington
You might see the puzzle piece at Lexington from time to time because we are part of the community and we support the individuality and uniqueness of all our members because they are each an important piece of the big picture here. However, you are more likely to see our slogan everywhere you go: So They Can. While the puzzle piece is a great symbolic representation for the individual, it doesnt address what we can do as professionals and community members for our loved ones with autism. At Lexington, everything that we do is So They Can accomplish whatever it is they strive to accomplish.
Find out what So They Can means to Lexington by taking a tour of one of our campuses across the Valley of The Sun. Contact a member of the Lexington Staff today to schedule your tour.
to read more from Lexington Services.