The Autism Puzzle Piece: A symbol that’s going to stay or go?


By Debra Muzikar

As language evolves so does symbols.

The origins of the puzzle piece, the primary symbol for autism, go back to 1963. It was created by Gerald Gasson, a parent and board member for the National Autistic Society (formerly The Society for Autistic Children) in London. The board believed autistic people suffered from a ‘puzzling’ condition. They adopted the logo because it didn’t look like any other image used for charitable or commercial use. Included with the puzzle piece was an image of a weeping child. The weeping child was used as a reminder that Autistic people suffer from their condition.


When I researched, I was reminded how far we’ve come in our use of language to describe people with developmental disabilities. In the 1960’s people with developmental disabilities were referred to as mentally handicapped. People with cerebral palsy were called spastics. The label “autistic” wasn’t commonly accepted. Children with autism were thought to be psychotic and were diagnosed as having childhood schizophrenia. Autism was blamed on refrigerator mothers.

To the National Autistic Society’s credit they’ve evolved and don’t use that image anymore. This is their new image.


I decided to do an informal survey of my friends on Facebook about the puzzle piece logo. Should it stay? Should it go? What would you replace it with?


I received over 100 responses. Some people emailed me offlist. As usual the responses I received were intelligent and thought provoking.

On the side of appreciating the puzzle piece logo, parent Keri Bowers writes, “the political correctness of so many things in today’s world is disturbing to me. It’s hard to keep up, actually, as the terms flip – as in person first language (PFL). When Taylor was young, I called him an autistic child. Then that became a bad thing. Now it’s flipped back from a person with autism, to an autistic person – just where I started. A puzzle piece implies a mystery to be solved or something to be put together. Is that untrue in autism? Is that really hurtful or did we make that up to feel better? I believe my son is a mystery – still, after almost 26 years, and he is ‘missing’ certain understandings, skills and abilities as an ‘autistic person.’ He would tell you – as he told a group of volunteers at a training he helped me facilitate yesterday ‘I just don’t get certain things.’ Is it insulting to imply through imagery a particular truth about him?”

Maria Hall, parent, “My son is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma… I love the puzzle piece.”

Sally Verduzco, parent, “I love the puzzle piece… It’s part of a unit. Together all of us in our own reality and ways, place each puzzle in the right place to create a unit. Unity coming together. Many pieces as one.”

Savana Rose, parent, “I really like the puzzle. To me it does perfectly symbolize all the different ways that our individual kids fit together. It symbolizes the complicated ways in which this disorder may have happened to our kids. It symbolizes how there’s no one therapy that works for everyone and sometimes it’s a whole puzzle of therapies that actually work. How did this happen? How do we help? How are they different? How are they alike? What works? What doesn’t? It’s a complicated puzzle to me and the logo speaks all that to me.”

Marge Pamintuan, parent, “It’s a symbol – perhaps to some, it’s a ‘missing’ piece. I’d like to think our kiddos are the COMPLETING PIECE of the human puzzle.”

Just when I thought it was only parents who liked the puzzle symbol, I received this input from Erin Clemens who is on the spectrum, ” I like the puzzle piece. I like it because it’s not about the end result, but the PROCESS of putting the pieces together. I also like it because it reminds us that each person, even though all grouped in as being on the spectrum, is still unique and has their own way of fitting in.”

There were some who wouldn’t mind keeping the puzzle piece if the message behind it was reframed.

Jennifer O’Toole, “I viscerally dislike the puzzle pieces as symbols of that which must be figured out and ‘solved.’ However! Then I found these handcrafted, fused glass bracelets – where the puzzle represents the idea that we each have an essential, unique part to play in the bigger picture. And that – I like a lot.”


Amy Gravino, “For me, I would have fewer reservations about the puzzle piece logo if there were a way to re-imagine the meaning behind it. So rather than it representing a missing piece in individuals on the autism spectrum, I would love for it to represent the ‘key’ piece. The puzzle piece is that component that defines each and every autistic person; that, without that piece, we couldn’t be the fantastic people that we are. So rather than looking at the puzzle and seeing a piece that is missing, I would want to look at the piece as the piece that completes it. (Unfortunately, I think the current meaning behind the puzzle piece is so enshrined in it that it’s probably impossible to change it, but I want to believe there is a way).”

Kathleen Tehrani, “I am in favor of a puzzle piece where the individual is choosing those pieces themselves… e.g., the art work of Sarah Vaughn.”

SarahVaugh puzzle piece

“I am not in favor of a puzzle piece that holds the intention that people on the spectrum are confused or incomplete,” Kathleen says.

Karen Courtney, who is Autistic, had a symbol she designed tattoeed on her arm.


Karen feels the tattoo symbolizes her struggles and being bullied for her autism. Karen is a gifted artist and designs autism puzzle piece tattoos.

Then there were a big group of people who opposed the symbol.

Michael Leventhal “While the original intent of the puzzle piece was positive, it no longer represents the goals of advocacy. Yesterday autism was a mystery. Today, while efforts continue into autism’s etiology, the main focus is on applying what we have learned to make society and institutions more responsive to changes that lead to improved life and outcomes for autistic individuals and their families. Highlighting this shift in focus warrants a newer symbol – one of cooperation and sharing.”

Michael believes projects such as the Gee Vero Inclusion project go more to educating and reframing autism.

Jane Straus, “the puzzle piece is far more applicable in my opinion to NTs (neurotypicals), who seem to expect us to guess what they are thinking. It is inaccurate, in its assumption of boy-blue, and its assumption that we are so impossible to understand. Those of us who can communicate in a way that normals understand are so simple and direct in what we say, that if they would just pay attention we would be not a puzzle at all.”

Andy Dreisewerd, who lives in a restrictive group home, has no love for the puzzle piece logo. In fact, he performed a ritual to destroy the puzzle piece by “using a plastic prop sword and figuratively driving it through the puzzle piece, cutting it in twaine. I did this to free its influence from me and my attention to others’ opinions on things I should do with my spare time, and the type of job I should hold based on how ‘intelligent’ I am.”

Lori Shayew, “I’m not a fan of the puzzle piece. I feel it’s demeaning to autistic people. I like the infinity sign or heart better.. something Autism represents.”

Andrew I. Lerner, “We are not just a puzzle PIECE, and are not missing anything. We do fit in, and we can SPEAK for ourselves! Let us support ourselves, rather than an NT jigsaw organization that is profiting from pitying us. We are all individuals, and need not have the same letters in our name. Show support for us by proudly displaying our A.S. logo.” This is the logo he proposes.

Andrew Lerner logo

April Griffin writes “My pieces aren’t missing and I’m not a mystery.”

Judy Endow writes in Goodnight Autism Puzzle Pieces about how the puzzle piece is now permanently tied in with fear-based messages. “… the fact remains that today public awareness of autism is tied up with the tragedy and fear-mongering put forth by Autism Speaks. Our puzzle symbol no longer stands for any of the good we personally attach to it and, in fact, has become harmful to the very people we wanted to represent – autistic people.”

Alternative ideas for logos were suggested. Sarah Vaughn would like to see a rainbow in the logo. Corrine Tobias likes the butterfly symbol.

One of my favorite organizations, Hidden Wings, uses a butterfly.

Hidden Wings

Carol Ann Acorn uses many pictures in her educational presentations that represent autism.


Forward-thinking CarolAnn also created this symbol years ago.

CarolAnn Acorn "Celebrate Autism"

CarolAnn Acorn “Celebrate Autism”

On suggestions for alternate symbols, Joanne Lara, Bev Leroux, and April Dawn Griffin like this symbol.

New Autism symbol

April likes the rainbow colors for the spectrum and the infinity sign which is math-related. Many on the autism spectrum have an affinity for math-related symbology.

Janet Sebelius disagrees with this symbol. The infinity symbol is used by the Metis in Canada.

Metis flag

“I feel the autism community has the best and brightest minds on the planet bright enough and creative enough to come up with something original I would love to see it come from within and not remind anybody of anybody else.”

Lori Shayew of The Gifts of Autism and Kelly Green of the came up with this symbol.

Gifts of Autism logo

Lori writes “In light of the recent news that the rainbow is not an arc, but a circle. (Thanks for the proof NASA) It’s time to recreate the new model. Colors of the rainbow weaving in motion. We are recognized for all of our colors. For instance, I know a 13 year old girl who is non-verbal (red ray) AND comprehension/writes at high school level in English and Spanish (blue ray) She is also a wiz at math (indigo ray) Because she is non-verbal she is automatically labeled “low functioning”. But, there are hidden gifts that people are missing because they are focusing too much on the “non-verbal” aspect.

It’s time to break down the spectrum (low-mod-high) and allow our innate gifts to bloom and flourish. Don’t we all excel at some things, but not in others? No big deal. We can jump from yellow to red to indigo to green and back again. Maybe then there are no colors, only light.”

Andrea Clark, “As each person in this world is unique, how can one symbol do justice for all?”

James McCue writes, “I hate the missing puzzle piece – I am not missing anything, nor do consider anyone I work with to be less then whole.” James suggests this:

James Mccue puzzle piece

“I think this represents the beautiful chaos that is continually running through my neurology – If I could add motion to it, would be even better – and noises, and smells – but – this will do,” James writes.

Kelly Green states, “Many Allistic [editor note: allistic is a new term for neurotypical] parents like the puzzle piece while many Autistic adults dislike it. I’m trying to honor my Autistic friends. I have existing art with puzzle pieces which I still use minimally (in my Making Friends with Autism coloring books and coloring pages.) I made a promise to my friends that I wouldn’t create any new puzzle piece imagery over a year ago.”


This was a chalk-art piece Kelly Green created to represent Autistic Pride.

On the side of getting rid of any symbol representing autism Judith Burkes weighs in. “I don’t believe there can be a unifying symbol for a spectrum. If some see it now as one color or another, or a variety of colors, or as limited and separating or unifying and celebrating, how can one symbol cover such a variety of expressions of human existence? And, in the end, do we need to have a/one symbol?”

Oya Dee Gazioglu, “Could a symbol also be construed by others as another limiting label? Or another separation as opposed to the oneness we actually are?”

Marilyn Lauer, a Special Educator in Santa Barbara, asks, “Why a symbol? Does every ‘disability’ have a symbol?”

Some thoughtful organizations are investing in new logo designs. For example, The Celebrate Autism Foundation changed their logo to this.


Jenny Anderson, founder of Celebrate Autism, states “Celebrate Autism Foundation changed it’s logo from a puzzle piece to a spark. Our organization is about empowering through education & sparking a brighter future for people on the spectrum. Feels like a much better fit!”

In the end, I believe symbols are important, just as words are. The symbol we choose to represent ourselves should reflect our values.

The puzzle piece was created to represent an autism organization, not Autistic people. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network which does reflect the values of many autistic people has chosen this symbol as their logo.

ASAN logo

The fifteen-year old artist Rissa P chalked this at the Covina Autism Chalk Festival on April 18, 2015.


(Artwork courtesy of Carissa Paccerelli aka Rissa P. Visit her art on her website.)

I guess that says it all.


  • Bev Leroux says:

    Thank you for taking time to complete this survey. I agree with your view that “I believe it’s time for parents to listen to Autistic adults about the symbols they prefer. And I agree there may be no universal symbol for all. If parents want a symbol for what it means to be an autism parent, they should create their own symbol… And please don’t include crying children.”

    In addition to the rainbow infinity symbol, I also love Carol Ann Acorn’s ribbon with rainbow stars. Come to think of it, how about an infinity symbol with a bright background colour (maybe royal blue like Carol Ann’s ribbon) and a collection of rainbow stars! Infinity, rainbow stars… that fills my heart with joy!

  • It is time to listen autistic adults? Good, here is one who has a lot to say.

    The puzzle piece is now inextricably linked to curebies, and has been for some time. In fact, post-diagnosis, that is literally all I know of it. For a decade or more (not much more even though I will be thirty-six soon), it has been a simple message. Puzzle piece = “we do not want you on the same planet as us, even though people studying you believe we would not have discovered fire without you”.

    In one conversation concerning another aspect of the whole autism rights matter, I stated quite plainly that the actions of people who promote “person first” language and puzzle pieces in context of autism have affected me in a very serious way. Nowadays, in place of people, I am seeing monsters who have chopped their own brains out and want to do the same to me, whereas before I merely saw stupid people. Things along those lines.

    So some curebie comes in and asks me, just to be clear, why it is not right to refer to being autistic as “suffering”. I had a whole big angry-hate-filled response coming to mind when another poster beat me to it, and did so in a way that made me feel someone “got it” better than I grok it. Their words were basically that it was like the suffering Holocaust survivors feel at the sight of swastikas and Holocaust-deniers. That is, suffering caused by the actions of Nazis/curebies, not suffering caused by being Jewish/being autistic.

    All conversations about the puzzle piece should start and end there. The puzzle piece brings images to my mind of brownshirts kicking in my door, strapping me to a table, and cutting into my head whilst laughing.

    I feel I must also point out a few things here. I promise I will try to be concise.

    “Allistic” bugs me. It implies that normies and curebies have things we do not, when in reality the _exact opposite_ is the case. My male parental unit is an ignorant moron who forgets things that I wish I could simply for convenience and does not even provide evidence of belief that I have any feelings. Given that I can imagine/feel feelings for fictional characters and people I have not even met, I think calling him “allistic” is like calling me “with/has/suffers from autism”. That is, it insults me and gives him way too much credit.

    And as much as I dislike hurting others’ feelings, with one exception I have absolutely no wish to be represented by the symbols shown in this article. Ribbons are symbolic of movements to cure (look up breast cancer ribbons, diabetes ribbons, cancer ribbons, and tell me I am lying). Rainbows also do not symbolise variance. They are gaudy, give me the impression of emphasis of one side of one’s emotional spectrum to the exclusion of all else (look how well that worked out for Jedi), and the gay civil rights movement already has an enormous claim. When I am marching for my rights, the last thing I need is to be explaining whom I am marching for.

    The infinity symbol also does not cut it as far as I am concerned. Just does not have sufficient “autistic” to it.

    But then, there is also a large cadre of people wanting us to think that Big Stereotype Tosser Theory and the like symbolise autistic people and _all_ autistic people. The PTSD-suffering autistic adults who were around for the 1980s and the Rain Propaganda fallout beg to differ.

    This is something I could go on about for hours. We could have a long conversation about symbols and messages. A very, very long one. For now, take all of the above as a hint of many things, including that the mainstreamist autistic “movement” needs to change its tune in a lot of ways, too.

  • I think the puzzle piece is rather accurate as we “nuero-typicals” have trouble figuring people in the spectrum and they have trouble figuring us out. The puzzle seems to fit as both groups seem to puzzle each other.


      These are just two of many articles that make clear: autistic people do not give a toss what you think, and we do not care about figuring you out at all. Autism is NOT about you. It is about us.

      Curebies are incredibly bloody obvious, in fact. See below for example. They want to have this crippled, useless, worthless image of the autistic at all costs, and will even put their fingers into their ears and scream that all science is lying if that is what it takes to preserve that notion. Little does the obvious curebie below realise that a lot of disabled people also have no patience for political correctness and choose to discuss their struggles in rather a different manner. See in which Lisa Egan explains how the society she lives in perpetuates disability for an example.

      The puzzle piece is like a swastika. It is a symbol around which people who have evil intentions toward us rally. If Autism Speaks For Normie A****** thought they could get away with it, they would hold rallies in which Tony Attwood’s (amongst others) books are burned as they wave around puzzle piece flags. It is a symbol of hate, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to read more.


        Tim writes: “Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last couple of years, you likely have seen the puzzle piece that has become the predominant symbol of autism.
        I’ll just come out and say it bluntly: I hate it.
        If someone thought a puzzle piece was an accurate representation of me, I’d be pretty ticked off to put it mildly.”

        This is a rare case of someone who is not autistic writing about autism and getting things dead right. The original iteration of the piece is misleading and misrepresentative, and the current puzzle piece is impossible to disassociate from people whose stock and trade is to mislead and deceive. No symbol that has as little consent from the people it purports to represent can be held to represent them.

  • gina rex says:

    I dislike the use of any graphic symbol for autism or Asperger’s (which is not on the Autism Spectrum.) “Spectrum” is a way for lazy psychologists to avoid real diagnosis and description of the many conditions lumped together on the “spectrum.” It obscures the actual symptoms and difficulties that individuals experience. Why is “Autism” a better name than developmentally handicapped?” Politically correct nonsense has never helped anyone to function better. Do we want specific individual solutions or cute butterflies and rainbows?

    • The amount of faceplam this one comment needs is astounding.

      First of all, the diagnostic criteria for autism and the diagnostic criteria for what Hans Asperger called “autistic psychopathy” (he was Austrian, so the latter word meant “personality” to him) varies by at most TWO POINTS. In fact, last I looked, there was one simple and very interesting point of difference: no significant delays in the development of speech or language. That is it. So your “Asperger’s is not autism” crap is already without credibility.

      I also would like to know where you think you get off calling being able to read at a university level whilst your peers are struggling with “the cat sat on the mat” a symptom.

      I could go on and on, but…

  • Elli V says:

    First off, stop using the word “autistic”.

    Anyone who is an expert about autism should know that that word should never be used. It is extremely offensive because autism does not define someone. They HAVE autism. They aren’t autistic. You claim that we have come so far about our use of language. Obviously you haven’t.,

    • admin says:

      You need to keep up what people want to call themselves. Many on the spectrum want to be called autistic. Here’s a blog I wrote about it.

    • Are you serious?

      Okay, first of all, if you told me face to face “stop using the word ‘autistic'”, I cannot be held liable for the consequences. Yes, this is THAT bad.

      The position of hate groups like Autism Speaks FNA (FNA standing for For Normie …holes) depends IN ITS ENTIRETY on people thinking of what makes us us as a separate thing to us. Demanding that we call ourselves “with autism” is no different to demanding black people call themselves “with blackness” or women “with femaleness”.

      It is not unreasonable to believe that if certain people had thought of it first, we would have archived propagandas in which Jewish people are called “people with Judaism”, or similar.

      In , one of the newcomer advocates who seem so determined to ignore and forget those of us who came before writes in response to a comment exactly like yours. That is, the comment was condescending, mal-informed, and pushy. There is a reason why I get angry and upset enough at what I refer to as person last language (because in separating what makes me me from me, it actually puts me LAST) that my reactions are similar to opening scenes in Mad Max: Fury Road (“you let us die!”).

      As I said, the position of curebies and people wishing to enact autism genocide entirely depends on autism being thought of in the same way as my repeated skin cancers, diabetes, or tendency toward inappropriate blood clots. These three things, I would give away so much else of my self… in fact, I call it the testicles rule. I would snip mine off to be rid of those things. But the person who comes to my door saying “come with us, you have to be cured of the autismz” is going to violently lose theirs.

      There is no scenario in which you could say the things in your comment the way you say them to the face of an autistic man of my background and come away better for wear. None whatsoever. I am already going to be a more unpleasant person for the entirety of this day after reading your asinine, uninformed dribble.

  • Mark Schlemmer says:

    I am an elementary teacher who came to this site exploring where I could find out more about some students I now teach. I am, frankly, taken aback by the negative labeling of people here.
    What exactly is a “curebie.?” And, I can guess at “neurotypical’s” meaning but Allistic?? I would love to hear from anyone who can shed non-hostile light on these terms. I have hated
    political correctness my whole life. I don’t have much good ju-ju for people who want to sit around and label things for the sake of bitter irony or something that tastes like that. It seems like a big energy suck. Life is too short. But education and enlightenment . . . by all means.

  • mike nichols says:

    My son has autism, or he is autistic. whatever you want to say. How it is worded makes absolutely no difference. My sweet baby still is perfect, yet he lacks the skill to say the four words I long to hear, “daddy, I love you.” I personally don’t care what the symbol is that is used to raise awareness. They could use a purple horses butt. If it helps raise awareness to cut down on the stupidity of the masses, isn’t it worth it? I may be wrong and I am sure someone will point this out to me, but I just want the best for my baby boy and others like him that have difficulties. Yes, difficulties, sorry to say but he and many like him have difficulties in communication, or other functions of life.
    We see a pink ribbon and associate it breast cancer. was pink chosen for a certain reason? Who cares!! It raises awareness.
    Maybe we all should be happy that people associate any type of symbol with autism, I am, it means my wife and I are getting the help we need to best benefit our son.
    Maybe we all should stop taking offense to every little thing and just be happy that someone cares.
    In my humble opinion, I believe autism is a puzzle, just like the human brain, whether it is a “normal (I hate that word) functioning brain” or a brain that may be considered overactive, or under achieving. So the puzzle piece is a good representation of the affliction known as autism.
    Sorry if I offended anyone, certainly not my intention. I do ask that anyone reading this, please say a prayer for my family that we do our best to raise this happy little boy the best way possible and get the best advice in helping him achieve all that is possible.
    Thank you

    • It never ceases to amaze me how insulting normies can be and expect us to verbally pleasure them.

      If I did not see ghost-children with surgical marks in their shaved heads telling me that I let them die when I read or hear “…with autism”, then yes, the wording would make no difference.

      If I did not feel surges of adrenalin that cause police officers to do double-takes when observing my reaction to “…with autism”, then yes, the wording would make no difference.

      Autistic people do not want your awareness. In fact, if I may be blunt with you, and frankly I do not give a rat’s if you like it or not, autistic people like myself were better off when you had no idea that we existed at all. Your awareness has brought upon us a level of hate-propaganda and lying about us in front of our faces without us having the means to respond that people said “never again” about a mere seventy years ago.

      What you need to pound through your thick skull is that you are not one of us, ergo your opinions about matters that concern us, such as separationist language or hate-symbols, is of less than zero value. Just like my opinions concerning intellectual retardation, muscular dystrophy, or cerebral palsy, have precisely zero value because I am fortunate enough to not have to deal with any of them. You are basically the equivalent of the moron in the hospital who is trying to tell me how I am to deal with immediate-term problems with my diabetes, only a thousand times worse.

      You may think you love your son, but I assure you that when you say things like “yet he lacks the skill to say the four words I long to hear, “daddy, I love you.””, you are communicating a kind of hate of him that you are too neurobigoted to even realise you have. One of my favourite songs frequently has the vocalist repeating the words “but I am here, so you do not see me”. Every time your son has tried to communicate by some other means that he loves you, and you have not taken notice, he has taken note of that. And he will keep doing that every time you fail.

      I sincerely hope for your sake, and his, that you get your finger out and start working with instead of against him, before you end up in the same situation as my male parent. Having a son who will not talk to you at all because he learned to not love you. And for context, I was both speaking and reading at an adult level when I was the same age at which you were likely still trying to make sense of six-word sentences. That is because, not in spite of, the fact that I am autistic.

      For comprehensiveness’ sake, I urge you to go to and read as much of it as you care to. Because Emma is a good documentation of the fact that pulling your head out of your butt and listening to actual autistic people instead of curebies and “waaaaah woe is me, my child has the autismz!” parental martyrs turns into its own reward.

      Oh yeah, and if you have a problem with anything I have said, go look at yourself in a mirror and say the following: “I am looking at the reason Dean feels like he has been threatened with rape by Gregor Clegane whenever he hears ‘…with autism’. I am looking at the reason Dean wants laws forbidding non-autistic people to speak about autism, under penalty of death in extreme cases. I am looking at the reason Dean hates people like me.” You have nobody else to blame for what you hear out of people like me.

      • Mike nichols says:

        Whether you hate yourself, hate me, or any other person in this world. I am going to tell you that you have never seen how my baby boy and I spend our time together! We often just relax in the recliner while silently looking into each other’s eyes, it’s absolutely beautiful. You sir are to be pitied, not for any reason other than carrying hate in your heart. There is no love greater than the love for my child. He is only 2, so if it’s cold outside, I help him put his coat on, if it’s warm and we want to swim, I help him put his swimsuit on. So I am not suppose to help him with social skills and the difference between right and wrong? Apparently social skills and common sense communications is not a priority is some people’s lives. I do pity you and hope someday you will fill your heart with love so there is no room for hate. Would like to be a friend of yours, not the enemy

        • “My son has autism, or he is autistic. whatever you want to say. How it is worded makes absolutely no difference.”

          “If it helps raise awareness to cut down on the stupidity of the masses, isn’t it worth it?”

          “Maybe we all should stop taking offense to every little thing and just be happy that someone cares.”

          These are your words. You should stop and actually think about what I have said in response to them, and why. Because I am thoroughly convinced you have not done this. I am not even convinced you have read the entirety of what I have said.

          Research psychologists are also dead-convinced that Albert Einstein was autistic. His first words were spoken at the age of three, and they were a full sentence reporting hunger to his surprised parents. When he first saw his younger sister, he was heard to remark, “Yes, but where does it have its small wheels?”.

          Your child is only two years old, you say, and you are projecting so much insecurity upon him, it just reminds me of how the ability to have children should be restricted.

          To keep this short, you have come to a forum on which an autistic person has described why separationist language and puzzle pieces offend autistic people, and spewed out a lot of “who cares?” along with “my thoughts matter because I am a parent of a child with the autismz!”. Yet you seem to think I want your pity, your sympathy, or something. People like you owe me fear and awe. If it were possible to do what I wish, to force people like you to feel exactly the way you make people like me feel, you would never want to talk to another autistic adult like me again.

          • mike nichols says:

            Now you and i are getting somewhere! Your last response did not appear to me to have the anger and hatred. I am here because I do not understand, plain and simple. I have heard you classify people as “normies”, I will assume you mean normal people. Is there a “normal”? I personally believe that normal should never describe any individual, we are all unique and thats what makes us human, everyone is different. And yet the same.
            I have two other sons, One is a firefighter and one is in the Army, Why do they do these dangerous jobs? When I asked them this question, they both said, because I want to do what is right and I care about people. These are ordinary young men that do “extra”ordinary jobs for the right reason.
            Dean, i am here to understand, I hope you will help me. You have extrodinary talents that far exceed mine, and in some cases, I have extrodinary talents that exceed yours, together we can help my understanding and do what is best for my baby boy. Personally, i dont get how these psychologist can help when they dont understand.
            I will not extend to you, pity, fear, or awe, I will extend my hand in friendship and request your help. Like my other two sons, I just want to do what is right, because I care.

  • Mark Schlemmer says:

    Dear Mike Nichols,
    Do not engage with this Dean Whateverthellhisnameis. Unlike 99.9% of all the human beings who, as one part of themselves, live “the autistic life” – that is the least of the problems of Dean. Dean sucked a lemon long, long ago. He has never gotten over it. Now, he just wants you to be as pinched up as he is. He is not worth your precious time. Spend it with your son!
    That sounds like a lovely, sacred relationship. Cheers! M

    • Yeah, because people who see other children being abused and taught to think of themselves as lesser Human beings, and say “no” to that, are not worth anything, right, Mark?

      Thanks for providing yet another example why if I could snap my fingers and make every autistic individual an X-Men-style superhero, my power would be to turn emotions into a quantifiable chemical and put them into the brains of others. Being forced to live the reality I have to live when I see curebies come out with their separationist language, you would tear your own genitals off/out and stuff them into your own gob until you choked on them.

      What’s that I hear you say? You heard me right. When assholes like Mark come out saying “it does not matter what you call them” when he himself is not autistic, and then keeps using “…with autism”, the effect is exactly the same as if you come into my home, put a gun to my head, and tell me I am going to let you fukk me or you will kill me. How does that grab you and your whiny normie superiority complex, Mark? Did you think I did not mean it when I said earlier that under my vision of an Autism Civil Rights Act, people who say “…with autism” would have to pay the people they have hurt by it, go to prison, or both?

      • mike nichols says:

        You know, all I want is to understand and be the best father I can be, maybe I am in the wrong area for this. I will now delete this from my e-mail and not bother anyone anymore. Best of luck to any and all.

        • I will incorporate some of what came to mind with your other reply here. It will make more sense this way.

          The reality that nobody is willing to confront is that autistic people have a lot that they want to tell the world, but the people most powerful in said world do not want to hear it. They want to hear things that make them feel good about themselves. They want to hear things that make them believe that they are doing the right thing, irregardless of what that thing might be accomplishing.

          I used to be the same way. I think the day I could actually look myself in the face and call myself a grown-up was when I could finally hear things that did not make me feel good inside or did not comfort me. It is a hard, painful thing to learn, but it is a very important one, and one that a lot of people unfortunately do not learn.

          My male parental unit, for example, likes to think that everybody in the world loves him and that he is a stand-up guy. The fact that I, the one person whom traditional media says should regard him with awe, never speak(s) to him anymore, should tell you how honest he is being.

          The gravatar that I have was intended to be symbolic. It is meant to represent the way I feel about the way I have been treated since what I call diagnosis day. When the diagnostician told me the news, she told me that my life would get better as a result of this. I want to punch her in the face for that. The mere memory of her words is like shit being pushed into my ears compared to what I have lived. And if you are keeping track, much of that is because of the manner in which my male parental unit behaved.

          I live in country where I am expected to be content with a shard, incomplete chunk of life. These peoples’ promises are all lies, and their love is hate.

          If I could tell you one thing that might help you at all, it is this. Stop reading what people who are not autistic have to say about autism. Do not listen to it, do not give it the weight of a pebble. Treat it as you would the static on an improperly tuned radio. The only reason I take time to respond to it myself is because I want to make other people, especially other autistic people, aware of why I so badly see the need for an Autism Civil Rights Act.

          Your son is still very young. You should try to remember that and what it means. There are places online such as the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network or the Thinking Person’s Guide To Autism that can more specifically answer any queries you might have, but that your child is not speaking to you in phrases yet is not truly a cause for alarm. In three years’ time it may be, but that is a bridge you can cross if you get to it. ASAN can probably offer advice about such a situation.

          I would probably have been washed out of the army even if I did not have diabetes. I have been experiencing symptoms that are associated with PTSD since I was about six years old. But that, and my desire to form armies of autistic people in a similar mode to the Black Panthers movement, should prove instructive concerning my motivations. Sometimes, people say things that they think are perfectly all fine and dandy, but a good hard think about can reveal how awful they are.

          • mike nichols says:

            Thank you for giving me the website to ASAN, being new to this, I never realized how people are naive to think someone with autism is less of a person. I truly have never thought this myself. It is a shame that people think this way. I have a much better understanding of your anger now and appreciation of what you have gone through. I personally am not one of those people. Keep fighting for what is right and know that I am on your side.
            Thank you again Dean
            I will continue to try and be the best father I can by paying attention to my little guy and not so much the “educated”.
            He is a godsend to my wife and I and we have always and will always believe this.

    • mike nichols says:

      I like to believe that everyone deserves to be loved, and respected. This was instilled into me by my Dad years ago. I am not in Deans shoes so I dont know the circumstances he has been through other than what he has told me. I appreciate His opinion, as I do yours, thank you for seeing through my words and noticing the love I have for all three of my sons. I will find out how good of a job I did raising them when I see how my future grandkids turn out.
      Many thanks to all!!

  • Jye Cooper says:

    without the puzzle logo i would off never found my self its draw to one with austim so much more so it has to catch our eye in sucess

  • Bridget Becker says:

    I am an epileptic so I know what some of the world of autism is like. Next I have raised 2 kids that are autistic. I raised them the closest I could to how I was raised- you may be differant in other peoples eyes but to us your just like all the other kids and are expected to act so. In other words my kids were- are special people. I would explain to them and to thier classmates- other autistic kids about the puzzle piece is if you look at it you will see a person. That little guy is blue, sometimes rainbow but he is one person and like in a puzzle you hold each others hands, give each other a hug. You stand tall, be proud of who you are- yes you will make lots of mistakes-but we all do, ,, you just make a few more.
    The idea that you call it a swazstica are a bunch of junk and have no thoughts of what I have been told it stood for. It stands for I am a person, I fit in with the world and sometimes maybe I do need my hand held. You guys who not see that ideal in it wether you are autistic or norm, must have blind eyes. Some of you talk horribly think how did you want to be treated. I am also proud to point out to people what that crazy puzzle peice means umunst all those color ribbons.

    • 1) “I am an epileptic so I know what some of the world of autism is like. Next I have raised 2 kids that are autistic.”

      In these two sentences, you tell us exactly how much value we, actual autistic people, should place in your opinion. None.

      2) “The idea that you call it a swazstica are a bunch of junk and have no thoughts of what I have been told it stood for.”

      Bro? Do you even English? Now, that you basically call our views a “bunch of junk” pretty much says it all about how much value we should place in your view. None.

      The puzzle piece is largely associated with ads that expect ignorant normies to believe that autism is worse than diabetes and cancer put together. I am autistic, I have had diabetes for twenty-eight years, and I have had two basal cell carcinomas cut out of my skin. Basal cell carcinomas are called “benign” and “very curable” by cancer specialists. The first one I had taken out was from my face, and it took a square inch of cheek with it. I still have nightmares about it coming back.

      Curebies who wave the puzzle piece in our face expect us to believe that what makes me different to the people who abused me constantly throughout my childhood and early adulthood is *worse than* a cancer that took a huge chunk of my face or the diabetes that is threatening to make me impotent and in need of nappies. At the grand old age of 38.

      So if you will pardon me for a second, if you think I should treat the symbol of the curebies as “it stands for I am a person” or as something positive, fukk you. You do not get to tell me what symbols my oppressors have used to dehumanise me mean. Either learn about what millions of autistic people feel about your symbol, or ship out.

      Go back to Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes’ boards and tell them your little warm and fuzzy stories about what you think the puzzle piece means. They will love you there.

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