Sunday, April 4, 2021

Why We Won't Use The Puzzle Symbol For Autism

I always noticed the puzzle symbol being used for autism. Personally, it never felt right to me. I know it's right for many others, and of course that's wonderful for them. The world would be a boring place if everyone thought the same.

But for us?

No.

We won't sport a puzzle symbol.

My son Tommy has autism. The puzzle symbol to me means he needs to fit into the crowd. It means he's a mystery and complicated, that he needs to be solved. 




And guess what? He doesn't.

I know to a friend of mine the puzzle means wanting to find a cure for autism. But honestly? I wouldn't want Tommy to be any other way than how he is. If they could cure autism, he wouldn't be Tommy. He wouldn't be the son that I know and love. 

I understand many LIKE the puzzle symbol. Heck, I might have purchased items in the past with the puzzle on it because there wasn't much out there. But I never fully embraced it. As the years went by, I realized many others didn't like the puzzle either. I wasn't alone. I had begun noticing a buzz about getting rid of the puzzle symbol a while back. I saw an infinity symbol floating around. One like this:



And I loved it. On Twitter, you'll notice a rainbow infinity symbol when you hashtag Autism Acceptance Month. It seems the puzzle is starting to be something of the past. 

I spotted this on social media:



Some don't understand the hate towards Autism Speaks. Please Google and do your research. I won't get into it, but only a tiny TINY portion goes back to those with autism. 


So no. The puzzle symbol for autism is no longer welcome here. Tommy does not need to be cured. He's delightfully honest and sees the world in a spectacular way. I've learned so much from him. Since it's Autism Awareness Month (I prefer the word acceptance, because sadly, so many with autism are NOT accepted. People are AWARE of autism, but when it comes to being accepted, well, it doesn't always happen) I do hope the infinity symbol is used more often than the puzzle one. 

My son is not a mystery or complicated. Sometimes the puzzle symbol is accompanied by words like "until all the pieces fit."


Well. All the pieces fit with my son already. He's uniquely Tommy, and that's a wonderful thing.



And I can only hope other people realize how extraordinary he is and are accepting. 


30 comments:

  1. What a wonderful read and I agree with everything that you said. I actually didn’t know that the puzzle symbol was used for autism but I wouldn’t like that, too, had I known it beforehand.

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  2. My daughter is Autistic as well. And I love the look of the infinity symbol. I can’t stand when I read about wanting to find a cure for autism. I would not change anything about my daughter. Like you said at the beginning of your post. It would be boring if everyone was the same.

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  3. You are a proud parent and always show your love of your children. I will learn from your lead on this issue.

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  4. God created people to be different. We need to not judge people on their differences and I loved learning about the symbols.

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  5. What a wonderful way to look at it. Your son sounds like a beautiful soul and your outlook is inspiring.

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  6. I love how proud parent you are and in love with his authenticy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  7. Thank you for explaining everything to us and for sharing your true feelings about it. Like I really the new symbol which is the infinity symbol instead of the puzzle one. There is nothing that need to be solve with Autism, instead we should accept them in the society with full understanding, patient, and love.

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  8. I love the new symbol to. It's better. Thanks for sharing awareness.

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  9. I appreciated this insight into a symbol that I see often. The new symbol is a much better representation.

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  10. I had no idea about the symbol. But being unique is a wonderful thing, for sure. -LYNNDEE

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  11. I've learned so much over the last few years. Especially from following you and The Autism Cafe. Neurodiversity isn't about "awareness." it's about accepting the whole spetrum!

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  12. This totally makes sense. And I agree with you that it isn't fitting for your son. I have enjoyed your thoughts on autism over the years.

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  13. I know what you are feeling, my daughter too have learning dissability, but she is sweet girl. You are right, he is wonderful kids. They make us proud.

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  14. It's a beautiful post. I love when you say that your son is beautiful as he is no and sees the world in a unique way!

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  15. Thank you for this enlightening words. I love the infinity symbol and how it symbolizes Autism acceptance. We should treat our kids who are dealing with different disabilities as a normal person and love for who they are.

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  16. I didn't know about the puzzle symbol but I will read more about.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this information again. I noticed it was posted last year but didn’t see it until you reshared this morning. I always wondered what the issue with the puzzle piece was, and this makes sense. I have always thought of the puzzle piece in a more positive light like the person is a “perfect piece of the puzzle” meaning familial puzzle, but I can see how it can have a negative meaning.

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  18. I did not even realize there was an issue with the puzzle piece. I am so glad I came across this post. I agree that we need more acceptance, and agree that people are aware, but not so accepting...

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  19. I love the new symbol also! My nephew is Autistic as well and he is such a wonderful smart young man. I tell my sister every time that God made him and other Autistic children special in their own way! Great Post!!

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  20. I 100% agree with you, he's perfect just the way he is and doesn't need to fit anywhere

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  21. I think we are all different between us and we need to accept these differences. An Autistic person is nothing else but a different person with their own point of view.

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  22. I fully agree with your views on the puzzle symbol. Yes Autism needs to be accepted, and this is a really nice post to commemorate the Autism acceptance week.

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  23. I really love this. I never understood the puzzle symbol much myself. I think this is so much better. I have many family members who are autistic, and I love your point of view here.

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  24. I never thought of it that way! It makes complete sense. I've been seeing the infinity sign around a lot lately too!

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  25. I actually wasn't aware of the puzzle symbol being associated with this and after reading your article, I agree with you wholeheartedly!

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  26. I'm really glad to know more about the puzzle issue. Tommy is great!

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  27. Love this post! Absolutely no one should feel or be expected to "fit in". Everyone is PERFECTLY unique as just who they are!

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  28. My oldest son is also autistic and his father and I got autism awareness license plate that have the puzzle piece on it. I've had mixed feelings about it but definitely love the infinity symbol more. And I'm the same...I wouldn't change my son for the world

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  29. On point! They need to realize your stand about this symbol. For me, the infinity symbol is much better than the other one.

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Thanks for the comment!

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