I was sent an interesting tweet yesterday: “Don’t like the autism puzzle piece [my Twitter avatar], but you seem cool so I’m following you.” I was intrigued. Who was this Corina Becker, and why was her Twitter picture a puzzle piece with a bright red no-symbol slashing through it?
Some research revealed she is an individual on the spectrum who writes several blogs and who feels strongly about this issue. Passion demands attention, so I “tweeted” with her, and here was Ms. Becker’s response: “It’s [be]cause the puzzle implies that there are pieces missing, or that we’re broken and need fixing. That if the right pieces are found, we’d become ‘normal’ or become human.”
To be honest, I adopted the puzzle piece for visibility, for easy identification about my niche. I even headed this blog with an “artsy” puzzle-piece motif. Well, you can probably see that one artsy motif has been replaced with another: the spectrum.
The spectrum is hard to visualize, to capture, to depict. I struggled with a visual for “it” and found myself “stuck” with a literal interpretation. But, isn’t that the point? That very vastness is what makes the spectrum untenable. That vastness assumes uniqueness and solidarity at once.
When I pulled out a few pieces of that puzzle, literally and figuratively, I did isolate people, those people I love and respect so dearly. I apologize. The spectrum embraces what I really want to discuss, disseminate, and embrace. The spectrum means that others don’t “suffer” from a “plight”. We simply co-exist. It is up to all of us as to how well we do that.
Thank you, Corina Becker.