A little make shift collage quickly whipped up with bits and pieces from a couple of playful paint sessions last year.
So, I'm on the autistic spectrum. Many of you may also be or know someone who is. Have you seen the jigsaw piece symbol that is widely used as shorthand for autism? For the record, many of us find it misleading and inappropriate. I won't say 'offensive' and not just because I'm pretty much with Stephen Fry on the concept of offence (i.e.: 'suck it up and stop whining' only he said it with a dash of profanity). More correctly, it is about a poorly considered image being used without question to describe people for whom it does not represent. There's no (good) excuse for bad design.
I don't know where the puzzle piece concept came from (was is Autism Speaks? I'm not linking to them but feel free to have a look around this.) but I will bet my last penny that it wasn't run by anyone who is #actuallyautistic. Sure, people with autism can be difficult to understand but then, people without autism can also be difficult to understand. Yes, life with autism is complicated sometimes as life without... oh, you get the idea. Of all the aspects of existence to choose from, why select a demoralising one that doesn't actually speak solely of us, the autists? In simple terms, not only is this not a kind or helpful way to describe a human being, neither is it a correct description of autism. I suspect it was chosen, and is still widely used, by so many non-autists who neither consider nor comprehend its connotations. Indeed, it's become so ubiquitous, many with an autism diagnosis now unquestionably associate themselves with it.
As an option, I wonder how many with autism can see themselves using a clean, geometric symbol instead?
When considering the differences between life with and without autism I often think about the phrase, 'fitting a square peg into a round hole". For me, that is a clear metaphor describing autistic life in a non-autistic-understanding society. (I'm going to assume you don't need that explaining as this is a blog post about a logo. Feel free to let me know if you do so I can elaborate.) I would rather use a representation of a positive, future paradigm rather than one that continues to portray a problem waiting to be solved, presumably by someone who doesn't consider themselves to ever be 'puzzling' to others. So this is my offering; a square fitting comfortably within a circle encased safely within a larger square, because that is a visual description of the future I envisage for all people on the spectrum; accommodation and acceptance for all.
Let's talk colour and demographics later :)
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