Autism And Its Associated Symbols
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This paper aims to explore four symbols associated with autism: the puzzle piece, umbrella, jigsaw puzzle ribbon, and the three coloured rainbow. Western secular societal assumptions regarding autism will be analysed in each symbol. This will be accomplished via a semiological critical visual methodology that will involve taking into account each symbol’s site of creation, the materials used, their surrounding socio-historical discourses, and their colours and shapes. Given that there is currently an Autism Awareness Month and Day in which one or more of these symbols are present, it is important to understand what is being conveyed about autism to national and international audiences. This paper will ultimately reveal that there needs to be more consistent clarification of symbol meanings, especially in regards to colours, and that commendatory alternate symbols can be associated with autism for the future.