Now, it’s time for me to dress the blog in red roses and the infinity symbol. It’s Autism Awareness Month again.
However, you won’t find one thing on this blog outside this post: the puzzle piece.
I find it oppressive. Here is why.
HISTORY OF THE PUZZLE PIECE
The symbol of the puzzle piece originated from Britain’s National Autistic Society (Society for Autistic Children). It depicted a crying child to symbolize suffering. Here it is:
Here is an American version I am familiar with:
They both depict the child as a mysterious puzzle to solve, and a sufferer that needs to be changed or gotten rid of.
NOTE: To be honest, autistic people’s suffering is a lot like racial suffering, like body type suffering, and like the suffering an immigrant undergoes, especially if they speak a different language. All these types of suffering, and autistic suffering, have this in common: People simply living in a world that is not made for them, and will stubbornly not accept them as people. The suffering is simply a fact of living in a hateful world.
The puzzle piece is very ubiquitous, and before I go on, I must admit I was very into the cause. I grabbed my puzzle ribbon to cover it in the colors of my bedroom. I thought about making puzzle bracelets, puzzle dresses, and even a purse with puzzle-patterned handles. Now, once I learned the truth about the puzzle, it offended me greatly.
Now, the puzzle piece connotes suffering. I am not suffering outside others’ influence.
The puzzle piece connotes a mystery to solve, yet they will not go to the source of solution. Talk to ME and communicate with ME! I AM THE ONE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!
The puzzle piece connotes that we are not whole people. It says we are not fully human. This brings up a lyric from Disney’s “Pocahontas,”
You think the only people who are people
Are those who look and think just like you;
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger,
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.
Now, will you put down the puzzle piece and actually listen to us? We are your children’s future, whether you like it or not.