Autism Awareness History Throughout October (and the rest of the year), you may come across some different symbols that represent autism awareness and acceptance, such as: a puzzle-piece, a multi-colored ribbon, the light it up blue campaign or many other similar combinations. When you see one of these symbols, we encourage you to think outside the box and imagine how life might be different for someone with autism, or someone in their family, and think of how you could show your support - to that person or their family directly, or through participation within your community.
The puzzle-piece symbol is a solid colour or rainbow and was one of the first symbols for autism created in 1963 and is used by many organizations. It has been controversial over the years representing people not fitting in. However, it has been turned to a positive concept that signifies how each one of us fits in as a unique part of a much bigger picture.
The Autism Awareness Ribbon is actually the official logo for National Autism Awareness Month in the United States (held there in April instead of October). The awareness ribbon uses multiple colours to reflect the diversity of people who are living with autism. The different colour combinations are used to represent autism awareness, with the most common mix being Red, Yellow, Green and Blue.
The colour blue has been adopted by many organizations and individuals to represent autism awareness. The colour blue was highlighted by Autism Speaks, and they began the "Light It Up Blue", encouraging people to shine blue lights as a show of support for people with autism. (The Light it Up Blue campaign runs each April to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd.)
No matter how you celebrate autism awareness, let it be an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about autism and about how we can support people living with autism, their families and their caregivers. It is estimated that 1 in 66 children and youth havebeen diagnosed with autism in Canada, yet Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that remains misunderstood by many people.
As more and more children are diagnosed, it is more important now, than ever before, that we achieve further “neurodiversity” in our entertainment. Children without autism are likely to be more understanding of their autistic friends and classmates if they have seen a show that gives positive examples.
Also, it provides an opportunity for those on the spectrum to relate to the characters onscreen and feel less isolated.
Click on the link below to find the top 30 books, movies and TV shows that display characters with autism.