One thing that became very clear, early on working as a human rights activist was the insanely high level of abuse. I used to ask when informed “did you report it” but no one ever said yes, so I stopped asking I hate to say.
The community needs real protections which reach around the world starting with ensuring organisations are actually supporting the community.
I have been In contact with the iconic music producer and autistic activist Marcus Boyd as well as highly respected autism organisations. These discussions have been about creating an online team of about 100 autistic people and caregivers.
I believe the puzzle piece was chosen to be distorted for a reason, that the charities and organisations that use it but are harmful want the community to appear aggressive. It’s a lot easier for them to then say “don’t listen to autistic adults, they just didn’t get the right support, but we will give your child that”.
It causes a division between caregivers and autistic people in general, and in the long run that will cause more a lot more harm to the community.
I think we need to respect there are autistic people that still see the puzzle piece as a positive symbol and are fighting to keep that. Taking it away from them isn’t much different than forcing it on someone that doesn’t identity with it. I say we take ownership of both as a community.
What I think we need to do is to create a standard of care. Something that is agreed upon by both neurotypical and neurodivergent people. A fair and reasonable standard for any organisation that represents or supports the community. Any that fall below that standard are researched and a file created. That is then sent on to autistic and neurodivergent lawyers in the right geographic locations.
We don’t go after the puzzle piece but the cause of the disruption legally with the support of the community and caregivers. This way it will only impact individuals and organisations that use the community name for profit or are neglectful of duty of care. However, anyone with values and using it positively aren’t affected.
I wasn’t in a position to do anything like this before, but very soon that may change. I will go into this more when we can but it is going to take some time to properly organise and set up. At which time a post will go out looking for volunteers to work remotely from home through Discord.
All my best and love
Words – Ross Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva