Autism Awareness: The Autism Puzzle Piece Meaning

April is Autism Awareness and every time I turn around, there is a post about Autism and it has the puzzle piece. I know that the puzzle piece is the symbol for Autism Awareness, but I did not know why the puzzle piece was associated with Autism Awareness.

What is the Autism puzzle piece meaning?

I came across the Pinning Down Autism website which had the following:

The puzzle piece logo was first created in 1963 by the National Autistic Society. They explain “that the symbol of the Society should be the puzzle as this did not look like any other commercial or charitable one as far as they could discover. The puzzle piece is so effective because it tells us something about autism: our children are handicapped by a puzzling condition; this isolates them from normal human contact and therefore they do not ‘fit in’.”

Since then, the interlocking, mutli-colored puzzle piece has become the international symbol of autism. Its significance has become multi-faceted. For some it represents the mystery and complexity of the disorder, for others it represents the mechanical nature of an autistics persons thought process. The bright colors are said to represent hope.

I also found this: “Because autism itself and its causes are so puzzling, the international symbol for autism is a puzzle piece. In order to begin to solve the autism puzzle, public awareness of the disorder is crucial.” on the I-CARE website.

I guess deep down I kind of figured that was the purpose of the puzzle piece, but now I know for sure!


  1. Tejas says

    Thank you for the large size logo with the transparency. I was looking for that. Another reason that I guess that the ribbon has been selected as a symbol of Autism Spectrum Disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome is the appeal that the patterns has for those affected. No two common colors are adjacent and each color follows a different repetition pattern.
    Thank you!


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