Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Out with the old.....

The puzzle piece logo was first introduced by the British National Autistic Society in 1963, it depicted a sad child who did not fit.

We have come along way since then and know a lot more about autism, social representations change over time. Autistic people do fit in society, so the NAS updated their logo. People with autism and parents are always challenging the way autism is portrayed. There is so much negative press, an image of a puzzle, with a piece missing, simply does nothing to raise positive awareness with the general public.
“The usage of the infinity symbol as a representation of autism, started by Aspies For Freedom in June 2004, was a reaction to the negative connotations associated with the jigsaw symbol commonly used by parents to represent autism. The jigsaw symbol is seen by much of the autistic community as an insulting reference to the fact that autistics can appear puzzling, in need of "fitting in" with society, or as having "a bit missing". It was felt that the infinity symbol better represents autistics by representing logic, persistence, perseverance, and unity of form.”

Autistics. Org has responded to us parents by selling a button that reads, "I am not a puzzle, I am a person." In addition, Oddizms has created a rainbow moebius ring with the statement: "Many autism spectrum adults object to being objectified by the puzzle ribbon ... They want a different symbol and here is my offering"I feel as parents we should listen to autistic people themselves. As the National autistic societies have updated their logos and their thinking - so should we parents. And if you haven't seen it yet - you must watch Bevs video.



Lastcrazyhorn has some beautiful art work as an alternative to the jigsaw.

Joeymom has also been busy!

61 comments:

Chris H said...

There seem to be a whole lot of new logos... is there ONE universal one?

Mima said...

It is interesting how as attitudes have changed the logos have changed with them. I think they are an incredibly difficult thing to get right, especially when the ones that we remember best are the most simple ones. Hopefully this new wave of change will find one that is right, and represents the possibilities and not the perceived limitations of people with autism.

beau99 said...

Said this before a few times on my blog, but I'll say it again.

I have no issues with the puzzle. More specifically, the puzzle ribbon used by the Autism Society of America. Matter of fact, I wear one each and every day. I don't see it as labeling autistics as puzzles, but it's meant to symbolize autism itself, which I agree with. There are many mysteries surrounding autism. That's what the puzzle is supposed to represent.

lastcrazyhorn said...

Hey thanks for the link and the link to my art!!! That rocks! It's good to see all of these lined up together.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I think we have a very long way to go before any kind of real acceptance for any disabilities. Great post!

Leigh Russell said...

"Possibilities not limitations" is so right. The real limitations are in bigoted attitudes of ignorant and fearful people.

Elissa said...

The new logos are wonderful - and offer so much more in the way of positive awareness.

buffalodickdy said...

A number of blogs I've read in the last two days are writing about autism...

titration said...

I never "got" the puzzle piece. I wonder if it had to do with the fact that the logo is based on "not fitting in". The new representation and yours displays autism in relationship which is better. It makes it more about humanity...

Bettina said...

That's really interesting.

And I agree, we should be listening to autistic people themselves.

Jen said...

Let's hope that things keep changing in a positive direction! Unfortunately we still most see the "puzzle piece" logo around here (Canada), but things seem to be slowly changing.

laughingwolf said...

i like that aa one you have here....

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Autistic people will talk truthfully about themselves. There are many logos but they are meaningful.

CJ xx

Angela said...

Wow! I had no idea there were so many different types of logos. Thanks for posting this!

Cyndi said...

I'm glad you posted this b/c it reminds me to do research on some comments I've heard lately.

I'm still new to all this, so please forgive me for my ignorance. I never realized the puzzle was insulting...I'm just so used to seeing it. Both TJ Maxx and Toys R Us now ask "do you want to donate to Autism Speaks?" when you check out. I know there is controversy over Autism Speaks..I just haven't learned what it is yet!

There seems to be so many "camps" under autism. The chat board I'm on is mainly comprised of mommies whose children were recently diagnosed. There are opposing groups on there and some of the posts can get ugly. For example, there's the vaccines caused my child's regression vs. my kid was born with it group, there's the Defeat Autsim Now (DAN) "biomed moms" vs. the anti-DAN's, there's the ABA vs. non-ABA'ers, etc. WHY are there so many "factions"...why can't we be united and just get along?

We request tolerance and compassion for our loved ones with autism...why can't we have that for the parents as well and respect the choices they make for their children? For the record, my son gets ABA, I think both genetics and vaccines played a role in his autism, and I took him to a DAN doctor for tests that regular peds don't do and we follow the DAN protocol as far as the GFCF diet and various vitamins/supplements go. That doesn't mean I'm anti-autistics...I just want to help my son (w/ therapies) and give him the best quality of life possible.

I hope this all makes sense...I'm exhausted!

LceeL said...

As the parent of an Asbergers boy (and I suspect, a person touched by Asbergers, myself) I would hope for fewer symbols and more education - especially, education of the educators - the teachers - the people with whom our children interact almost as much as us parents.

Billy said...

I'm not a puzzle--I'm a person. That says it all.

Ron said...

Morning Casdok~

Thank you so much for sharing the history of this logo.

And what I find wonderful, is that the logo has become much "brighter" and more "open."

The logo at present, seems to reflect the change in awareness.

It has a really nice energy to it!

Enjoy your day, dear lady!

Melissa said...

It is neat to see how the NAS updated their logo even though the old one had such solid "branding."

VBF! said...

I love the bright colors! xx

CC said...

Awesome! I love the infinity!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I don't have an autistic child so my view is likely to be of no consequence. I would say that where there is room for a negative connotation in relation to any symbol then it doesn't do any harm to find one that is much more positive in its message.

I love the infinity symbol - very positive.

J said...

I agree with beau99 in that the piece represents the mysteries of autism rather than the people on the spectrum.

However, thanks for showing what the old NAS logo looked like. Now I understand why some people on the spectrum take issue with the puzzle piece.

katy said...

I love colourful logos, more eye catching.
you have an award at mine

Deb said...

I have to say that I never really liked the puzzle piece logo.

Dr.John said...

I like your symbol. It suggests that the autistic person is part of the whole not seperare from it.

Joy said...

I think it's silly that people nit pick about the puzzle symbol. I have always read that it was described as a puzzle because "the puzzle pattern stands for the mystery and complexity of autism. The different colors and shapes represent the diversity of those living with the disorder and the brightness signals hope through research and awareness" Nothing offensive about that to me. As far as the autistic people not liking it...I've heard autistic people say they liked it, and those who say they don't. Not trying to be a pain in the butt here :)

the mother of this lot said...

I like the rainbow ring!

San said...

It's an eye-opener, Casdok, to see these beautiful newer logos that feel so harmonious as opposed to the puzzle-piece mentality. I really love the Moebius rainbow strip. It suggests we are all connected, flowing into one another. Who appears to be our opposite is actually just another point along the continuum.

Blessings to you and your beautiful young man.

CrazyCath said...

Do you know, because I am not in contact with autism, I had not realised how insulting and hurtful that puzzle piece logo is. When I think about it, I would hate to be portrayed that way or for my child to be portrayed that way, implying that he *must* "fit in" to society and if he doesn't, it is he that has the issues, something I deplore and feel strongly about.

[Is that the longest sentence on a comment? Do I get a prize?]

Anyway, I think you know what I mean and again I thank you for flagging something up to me that I had not even considered. You make me think. Which is a good thing.
I think.

nitebyrd said...

The rainbow symbol seems to be more appropriate because of the broad spectrum of symptoms. Thanks for sharing the info, Casdok.

Angela said...

I am glad that puzzle piece doesn't fit in anymore.
It is good that people are looking for some other more positive

Eileen said...

Interesting to think about. I had no idea there were so many different logos out there. Not sure what I feel about it at the moment, something to thing about.

Raven said...

Very interesting and encouraging to see that changing attitudes are being reflected in the graphical approach to autism. I have mixed feelings about the puzzle debate because I'm outside of living with autism. I love puzzles so my intuitive response is that puzzles are challenges to be figured out or understood. That said, if somebody implied that I had a piece missing (I actually have several, but it's one thing for me to say it and quite something else to lable me) - I'd probably not be that thrilled. "I'm a person not a puzzle" speaks volumes. I love color so I like the colorful ones... and now I have rambled on and will go away back to my cave.

SnoopMurph said...

I am really glad that you posted about the puzzle logo and it is diplomatically stated. I really love the alternatives to the jigsaw-very creative and beautiful.

Lady in red said...

thank you casdok I wasn't aware of this. It is nice to now understand the history behind these signs

MOTHER OF MANY said...

I really like the idea of the logo
I AM NOT A PUZZLE I AM A PERSON.
I really makes you think.

Odat said...

I'm glad the world has caught up with the realism of autism!
Peace

bonbon momma said...

I sometimes think the puzzle piece logo is not so much a symbol of autism but perhaps a symbol of solidarity for parents of children with autism. I am not a 'puzzle piece person' so to speak and I could see where it would be an insulting representation of who I was as a person, if I had autism. But I don't, my son does and so far at age four he hasn't expressed a preference. I don't feel that I need to have a puzzle piece magnet on my car, but I do think that when I see one, I think 'there goes my people'. That's the only function that the symbol has for me. I do think the infinity symbol is nice. I am not sure there could be one thing which would really encompass it all.

belle said...

Award for you at mine, Casdok :o)

bart said...

its good to see that changing perspectives also have their reflection in the visuals used... unconsciously, a different image is evoked which enables a different frame of reference in which to conduct discussion...

thanks for this...

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Here's an odd thought . . . people who are normal don't have badges proclaiming that they are - so why should we label people with anything . . . teaching acceptance is the key surely. As long as we label people and set them outside 'normal' society then they always will be outside, rather than part of a growing and accepting society.

MMC said...

I don't know, quite frankly I don't really get it. I agree with a lot of with Cyndi said, there does seem to be an awful lot of 'in fighting' within in the autistic (or maybe more accurately the autistic spectrum) community and for the most part, it just doesn't make sense to me. There is actually enough divisivenes between different disability groups (how come they get that service and we don't?) that diviseness within a group seems so counterproductive.

I've known for years that my daughter was on the autism spectrum, in addition to her other challenges. But it was only recently that anyone would give her the label. Sometimes I wonder (nobody shoot me, please) if those at the higher end of the spectrum, the aspies, are the ones who have taken over the debate. They speak for thmselves, great. But can they mandate for the rest?

Just my thoughts. I don't really see the problem with the puzzle piece but I do admit that I do find the "I am not a puzzle" logo very compelling. Thanks for the post, Casdock. Great as always.

Julie at Virtual Nexus said...

Casdok - I caught the tail end of a report which mentioned that there is a programme coming up soon(?)
on Stephen Wiltshire drawing London.

Assume you've picked up on it, but if not, worth checking out.

Rising Rainbow said...

There is so much to learn about autism, I can see why it would be a puzzle to some. It sure is a puzzle to me and I live with it with my grandson.

I don't see him as having missing parts or any less of a person. I see he has a challenge in life, a journey of his own.

His journey may be different from mine but then that appears to be the case for us all. We each have our own journey, our struggle, our challenges. We need each other to get through because while our journeys may be different our feelings are all the same.

Dianne said...

I didn't realize the history of the symbols.

I am only beginning to understand so much - I guess that is the whole point of awareness month.

thank you for being such a gentle teacher.

motherx said...

I personally like the rainbow symbol. To me it explains everything without overkill.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Congratulations on your award from Belle! You deserve it old girl!

Bonnie said...

Yes, yes, yes! I loved your post. The puzzle has been bothering me also. Thank you this is so concise and well written, I'm linking you to my blog!

the mother of this lot said...

Award over here for you. There's stacks of them, but I think you'll find yours in the 'Thinkers' section on the third floor.

CrazyCath said...

It's me again. There's an award for you at my place. Come on over and pick it up!

Jim said...

I noticed that some logos have changed while others do not. Thanks for sharing from your perspective and I would not have thought of that way.

Jim

bobbie said...

I am glad that the puzzle piece is gone. I removed it from my blog, and will try to dream up one to replace it. - Thank you for sending me to Joeymom. A very nice product line.

mommy~dearest said...

Love the idea of the infinity symbol!

monsoon-dreams said...

thats an interesting post,casdok.thanks for sharing.i think "i am not a puzzle,i am a person" is the best one.

citizen of the world said...

I like the moebius strip and also th eart tunnel one at the bottom. Definitely not the kid inthe puzzle piece.

DJ Kirkby said...

Love the ring and lastcrazyhorn's art.

Marla said...

Excellent! I will probably link to this post since you explain it so well!

~Miss Nelson said...

I linked to this post also. Your post really breaks it down.

Special K said...

totally agree. Speaking of spectrums, this is by far the best visual program to 'view' music i have ever seen

http://www.soundspectrum.com/g-force/

it's hard to see why or how but i believe there is a whole.. hmm dead angle or blind spot in 'normal' people that make it so they don't see very well. The program also synchs on music so Joan of Arc I believe, or any Saint in fact is not really hard to believe about visions and voices. So autists I believe are really only higher forms of intelligence whom people i think should just respect. i'm not even sure people need to listen to them as i don't believe in studying people because they are different (with out them having a word to say). I'm not talking about mothers fathers or anyone who actually cares but about the medical community which i dislike very very VERY much (a confederacy of blind people i believe)

Also some autists are autists because they can't express themselves and this is why sometimes doctors can help. I still don't like them (doctors) as i am not sure they make any difference in this 'standard' world.

Autists I believe simply can get 'more' of the world than 'normal' people. I have found out despite the pollution God goes everywhere. i have a problem with noisy people tough, it kind of drowns God

Special K said...

totally agree. Speaking of spectrums, this is by far the best visual program to 'view' music i have ever seen

http://www.soundspectrum.com/g-force/