Overlooking The Puzzle Piece

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

puzzleEarlier this week we took the Monster to the doctor. Afterwards we headed over to Wal-Mart to get his prescription filled. It literally took almost 30 minutes to fill his prescription, so during this time Mike, the Monster and myself all looked around at a few things. In March or so we are going to paint the Monsters room and he will no longer be sleeping in his crib, so I wanted to look at some paint samples. While I was picking some out and showing Mike and explaining how I went to do his room in ‘Cars’, Mike says, “let’s do blue, like Autism blue.” He then goes on to add, “lets put up puzzle pieces, let’s do his room in Autism blue and puzzle pieces.” I know some people might be like WTF? Even a lot of you autism parents are most likely saying, “What in the hell are these people thinking!?” And I got ya, I understand. We live and breathe autism a lot. We live with it in our house all the time. We can’t escape it unless we literally leave and never come back. We have no way of getting away from it. So why add to it? Why see the puzzle piece every time we walk into our sons room?
So let me explain why we are so “pro autism” and why we WANT to see it everyday.
The puzzle piece was created in 1963 by the National Autistic Society. They explain the puzzle piece as this, “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’.” I bet a good chunk of readers didn’t know that, not even a good chunk of the autism readers. It’s okay….I didn’t know when it was created or why it was created or what it meant.
Before autism effected us, I am sure we seen it. I am positive we seen the puzzle piece other places. I am sure I walked through the mall and a mom had a pin on her diaper bag, I have most likely seen a service dog with a little stick that had the puzzle piece on it. I’m sure a dad has worn some type of shirt that had the puzzle piece on it while standing in front of me at Wal-Mart. I am sure that I have seen it many times and never looked at it and thought, “that puzzle piece means something. That puzzle piece means more than just a piece to some puzzle. The puzzle piece stands for something other than what it is meant for and what is created for.” Did any of you ever think that? Do some of my readers not effected with autism in their daily lives look at it and smile? No most likely not. That’s okay, I just admitted that the autism puzzle piece didn’t mean a thing to me before. I just admitted that I overlooked it many times, which is normal. I’m sure many of us overlook it and some of us still do. I never thought until now what that puzzle piece might mean to someone.
So here is what it means to me.
It means that I am stronger than I ever thought. I am weaker than I ever thought. It reminds me to have patience. It reminds me to look at my child differently, but to never forget who he is. It means that I spent long nights and early mornings watching cartoons. It reminds me that it is only 1 of many pieces in life. To me it means Autism in general is still a puzzle and we all have so much more to learn. It is my reminder to always stand beside my child. It is my reminder to keep learning from my child. It is my reminder to be an advocate, a voice and a different type of mother to my child. It is something more than just some puzzle piece. It is my life, my courage and my rock. It is my support to lean on. It is my glue that puts things back together when things fall apart. It is the piece that holds my family together. It is everything in my world.
So, I have no problem waking up everyday and seeing it on the wall of my sons room. I have no problem going to bed every night seeing it in my sons room. It’s my reminder, to have patience, to be strong, to keep going. It’s my reminder to not just be a mom, but be a best friend, advocate, rock, teacher and voice for my son. It is something that will remind me everyday to be thankful and to appreciate the smallest things. And that is why I have no problem seeing it everyday.
I never thought something that I overlooked many times could mean so much to me. Could be the things to hold me together in life, but it is. So, next time you see it, don’t forget what it might mean to that person.

  1. heather says:

    I personally Love the puzzle piece, I have a blue puzzle piece tattooed on my back with my son’s name on top of it. it is on top of it and overlaps it because yes my son has Autism, but he is also so much more.

    • Many parents don’t like always talking about the ‘autism thing’ as some might say. Well I have no problem with it. I can vent, be angry, talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. And the puzzle piece is my reminder of all those things and much more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s