No Stereotypes Here

Puzzle-less Autism Awareness Ribbons

Posted on: August 29, 2010

For the longest time, I’ve been bothered about the autism awareness ribbons and other products displaying puzzle pieces. As a lot of autistics say when we object to it, we are not puzzle, we are people. So, since I’ve been aware of why it is offensive, I’ve been avoiding using it for any autism-related images.

Except my Anti-puzzle graphics for protesting Autism Speaks and other organizations.

However, I wanted an autism awareness ribbon that anti-puzzle autistics and other community members could display and use. So I made one, using the concept of my Neurodiversity infinity mobius and the spectrum part of Autism Spectrum.

Actually, I made two, and I’ve uploaded them so that people may use them freely. Also, I’ve made some shirts, car stickers and other products using the design, available on my zazzle store. (all proceeds goes towards my tuition fund; I’m applying to the Disability Studies program at Ryerson University, and it kinda costs a lot for someone on social assistance). The textless are below.


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5 Responses to "Puzzle-less Autism Awareness Ribbons"

Hai Corina,First, very nice ribbon. Now about the puzzle. Puzzling is what we do, with every breath we take.A puzzle is what we are to people withou autism.So, the puzzle is allright, but boring. I think also that when we take the arches from McDonalds people get confused, so it is with the puzzle logo. Tip!! take the theme and simplify it.

Hi Rob,The problem is that a lot of the times it comes to mean that there are 'pieces' missing from us, and that suggests that we are less than whole, and thus less than human. This fosters negative stigma towards autistics, and promotes an ideology that because we are less than human, we do not require the same rights and freedoms as "real" humans. Which in turn, justifies abuses and human rights violations, neglect and murder towards autistics. Not to mention fosters a reluctance on the part of service providers to meet the needs of autistic individuals. And yes, I've considered modifying the puzzle theme to be something less offensive, but the underlying attitudes in the puzzle piece still remains. Hence why I refuse to use it, and work on the theme of the wider autism spectrum. This blog and my mission, after all, is to eliminate negative stigma and stereotypes.

I avoid anything with puzzle pieces too for exactly these reasons.

I've displayed your ribbon on my blog with a link. I'd never thought about the 'having a piece missing' interpretation of the puzzle piece ribbon, so thanks for the explanation.

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  • Corina Becker: Hi Anonymous person who apparently doesn't feel like giving me a name to address, and thus hides behind anonymity!!! I never said the federal gov
  • Anonymous: I think that it is about time something is being done federally to help those with ASD to get much needed therapies for their disability and YES I do
  • Corina Becker: Hi Janine! Melody reads here? Awesome. I honestly had no idea she was aware of this blog.And thank you so much, I'm glad both of you like the bl

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