The Change of the Puzzle Piece

Emily Cholewa and Jeremy Mercado

For 23 years the rainbow puzzle piece has represented Autism, so why are we changing it now?  The puzzle piece has come to represent the hope for an end to Autism instead of accepting it. 

Autism Acceptance is a movement paving the way for a new view on Autism, with the infinity symbol. The puzzle piece, however, represents autism awareness instead of acceptance. Many parents have said that Autism Speaks tries to teach people how to fit in, instead of telling them how to embrace it and be themselves.

The puzzle piece allowed the mindset that people should want to “cure” Autism. A large contributor to this thought process was Autism Speaks. If you have looked up any facts or statistics about Autism, you’ve probably stumbled upon Autism Speaks. 

“I think that the change from the puzzle piece to the infinity symbol is a really great idea because the puzzle piece was suggesting that Autism was something that needed to be solved,” Mrs. Abadir from Colonia Middle School said at a school interview.

Autism Speaks has been one of the most known sources for anything about Autism for years. Recently though, many people have become unhappy with their support to end Autism. Amongst that the lack of money actually being donated to support Autism and the misrepresentation of the Autism community has been a turn off for people that used to support the organization.

“I am for the infinity symbol because it represents the neurodiversity movement that we are heading towards,” Miss. Matyas said.

Many people have stopped using the puzzle piece and switched it for the infinity sign. 

As our way of understanding Autism changes so should our way of representing it.