Is The Puzzle Symbolic for Something?

Today was Autism Awareness Day (why, there is one specific day during the entire month that is recognized as Autism Awareness Month always confuses me a little).  To spread awareness the boys and I wore our puzzle piece shirts to school and to work.



At one point today I had someone ask me, “Is the puzzle symbolic for something?” . This is someone I consider a good friend and I was kind of shocked for a second.

Sometimes I forget other people’s live are not engulfed in autism.  That they don’t have an entire bookshelf dedicated to autism.  They don’t talk with other autism parents every single day.  They’re not working with visual aids.  They’re not worrying about their children being in danger every day.  They’re not laughing at their child’s newest scripts.  They aren’t tripping over lines of trains in the bathroom.  They’re not still wiping up poop in the bathroom.  That they are sleeping through the night consistently.

And I realized that I must not be doing my job of spreading awareness if people don’t know what the puzzle piece is for.

autismribbonThe awareness ribbon for autism is a collection of bright, different colored puzzle pieces.  The puzzle piece design was actually adopted in 1963 because of the mystery and complexity of the disorder, I believe that still stands true today in 2014.  The different colors are meant to represent the diversity of people affected with autism and how different they all are from each other.

I am a fan of this design- I have ribbons pinned on a variety of my bags and coats.  I have the ribbon as a magnet on the back of my car.  The kicker?  I have it tattooed on my foot as well.  Dedication, y’all!

Now you all know what the awareness ribbon looks like for autism as well as what it means.  So, get out there and share your new-found knowledge!

Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.