Spread the word!

(Inside: After learning about the autism puzzle piece being offensive, Autistic Mama is saying goodbye to the puzzle piece for good!)

I do my best to be the best autistic advocate I can be.

I speak out against Autism Speaks.

I talk about the problems with Light it up Blue until I’m blue in the face.

I call out ableism whenever I see it, and yet I missed something huge.

The “puzzle piece” that has come to represent autism for so long, is offensive.

See, the other day I came across an article about a major autism journal getting rid of the puzzle piece.

I was surprised.

See, I knew the blue puzzle piece was bad. But I had no idea that puzzles, in general, had such a negative connotation…

So we’re saying goodbye to the puzzle piece here at Autistic Mama, and I wanted to explain why with this post.

Saying Goodbye to the Puzzle Piece on AutisticMama.com

Saying Goodbye to the Puzzle Piece

I asked in our Embracing Autism Facebook group.

“Thoughts?”

I was ready to hear a bunch of people on both sides.

I was shocked to see an almost unified decision: Autism is DONE being represented by the puzzle piece.

What’s Wrong with the Puzzle Piece?

The puzzle piece gives the symbolism that autistic people are a problem to be solved.

There’s also the fact that puzzles are typically something played by children, and it tends to promote a stereotype that autism is a children’s diagnosis.

Even Autistics Get it Wrong Sometimes

I have a blogger friend who’s son just got an autism diagnosis. And even though she writes a parenting blog, and writes extensively on sensory struggles, she won’t write about autism.

“Kaylene, no one can talk about autism ‘the right way’, and I am terrified to write it wrong.”

I understand her fear.

The autistic community debates on identity language versus person-first language.

We debate about disabled advocates and “warrior moms”.

We’re all in this space trying to do what’s best.

I’m an autistic advocate, and this time I got it wrong.

Sometimes even autistic people can be ableist.

When You Know Better You Do Better

Now I’m making a change.

As soon as my eyes were opened to the offense the puzzle piece caused, I knew my logo had to go.

It didn’t matter that I loved it. It didn’t matter that, as an autistic self-advocate, I didn’t personally find it offensive.

When you know better, you do better. And today, I know better.

Saying Goodbye to the Puzzle Piece, and Introducing the Infinity Logo

So now I have my new logo.

I’m a little in love.

See, infinity symbols are kind of my thing.

I have a tattoo designed (I haven’t done it yet… I keep having babies!) that incorporates an infinity symbol.

I had rings with my best friend with infinity symbols.

Basic point: infinity symbols are my jam. And now I get to use one in my logo.

This new logo is no longer offensive and perfectly me.

So I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.

What did you think of the puzzle piece? What do you think of the new infinity logo?

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Kaylene George is an autistic self-advocate, author, and mother of five, including one autistic child. She realized her own autism as an adult shortly after her son received his initial diagnosis. Suddenly the parts of her that seemed so “weird” to society had an answer. Since then, Kaylene has passionately shared about her experiences with autism from both sides of the great divide between parents and autistic self-advocates on AutisticMama.com.