Please abandon the puzzle piece symbology. Our lives may be missing pieces, but we are not !!! This symbol is very harmful to Autistickind, and it is not reclaimable.
Powerful enemies of Autistickind (Autism Speaks, etc.) use this symbol to signify they believe we’re incomplete (#mssng [sic: missing] campaign; “til all the pieces fit” curebie rhetoric; etc, etc). The puzzle piece has been a symbol of our oppression for decades now.
If we display the puzzle piece for any reason (other than mockery and dissent), it’s easy for passersby to assume that we stand for the aforementioned, as that is mainly what’s associated with it in its long history of abuse. I for one, wouldn’t want a single soul to believe there’s any more support for our oppressors than there is. Because in my 10 years of advocacy I know quite well what we’re up against. And we simply cannot afford to aid them, intentionally or otherwise.
This deserves some thought. Due to the history and the fact that the same old hate orgs and martyr parents still use the puzzle piece as a symbol of pity for us, it is simply not reclaimable. No matter what you personally might like it to represent, it’s as futile and as triggering as trying to reassign the meaning of the swastika. It’s a symbol of oppression, and will remain so.
Autistics are NOT a puzzle to be “solved”. Our differences should NOT be framed as a puzzling mystery. The puzzle piece is a symbol that has long belonged to an ignorant and harmfully complacent non-Autistic majority implicated in systemic abuse of Autistics for a very long time now.
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