Why Is Autism Represented by a Jigsaw Puzzle Piece?

Someone asked why the puzzle piece represented autism. I didn’t know, so I googled: why is autism represented with a puzzle piece?

Autism we are whole mica gadhia

And this was the top answer:

“On a nationwide level, the puzzle piece symbol reflects the mystery and complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Also, since every puzzle piece is different in some way, a puzzle piece accurately represents the diversity of the individuals affected.” Resource: https://autismuga.wordpress.com/what-is-autism/why-a-puzzle-piece/

I dug a bit further and learned that some people don’t like the puzzle piece. Imagine that, differing opinions.

You can find more information on the opposing views here: The Autism Puzzle Piece: A Symbol That’s Going to Stay Or Go?

But me? How do I feel about the puzzle piece symbol?

I feel like I’m so damn tired of labels is how I feel.

I am what I am popeye mica gadhiaI’ll dive deep into my journey with labels next week, because now that I think about it, I’ve had a pretty fascinating love/hate relationship with the phrases “Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder,” “Asperger’s Disease,” “High-Functioning Autism,” and the latest one, “Austism Spectrum Disorder.” I want to explore it step-by-step for myself  because this is my child we’re talking about here, not some freaking widget that got upgraded. :eyeroll:

Oh, and I always chuckle at the use of the word “Disorder” after these titles . . . have you met anyone with OCD?!?! There’s no sign of any disorder to be detected! :double eyeroll:

OK, Mica, answer the question . . . how do I feel about the puzzle piece as a symbol for autism?


I think I really don’t care all that much about the symbol for autism. I care about the people who are labeled with autism. I care about how we treat each other and I have a very special interest in how we are treating our “autistic” friends.

I Like the Symbol

So I like the puzzle piece because if you’ve met one Aspie (puzzle piece), you’ve literally met one Aspie and each person is part of the whole (finished puzzle). And I like it for the same reason that if you’ve met one NT (neuro-typical), well then, you’ve done just that, you’ve met one more person . . . who is in fact, part of the whole. Imagine that. Inclusion.

I Don’t Like the Symbol

I don’t like the puzzle piece if it symbolizes that I need to “solve” the mystery of my son, though, insinuating that he is “less than” or “broken” in any way, shape, or form. That’s simply not true and who needs any more messages that state we’re not OK just as we are? I think we’re full up on being told we suck and need to change.

You can find the newest logos and a great read about why this writer hates the puzzle piece in this article titled: Why you need to stop using the puzzle piece to represent autistic people

Regardless of what symbol is used to represent you or your children on the autism spectrum, the ultimate hope is that we’re all doing our best to accept where we are. Hopefully we’re getting help when we need it, loving ourselves and everyone around us each and every day, and living lives that are continually full of generosity, kindness, peace, joy, adventure, discovery, hard work, leisure, and all things wonderful about being a human being.

Remember this now: you are perfect right where you are, life really is beautiful if you’re looking in that direction, and you are loved and lovable.

Warm smiles to you right now,


Here’s a question I’d love to know if you have an answer for: What symbol would you use for autism if you were going to be paid $10,000 to design it? Let me know on Facebook.

First note (out of 2): You are not getting $10,000 if you share your answer.

Second note (out of 2): In Pixabay, where I get most of my images, these were the key words for the puzzle piece autism ribbon: ~ Autism ~ Ribbon ~ Awareness ~ Disease ~ Disorder. Those five words used to describe an image to represent autistic people wears me the hell out, I swear. Those words literally make me feel tired and I’m not sure why I don’t like them (let me know if you know why I don’t like them).






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