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The Autistic self-advocacy community has moved (as far as possible) away from using a puzzle piece, which represented us as being "broken", unknowable, unsolved mysteries. Autistics are not so puzzling if you listen to us! Many Autistic advocates are happy to educate people if they are respectful and willing to listen.
The infinity symbol represents the understanding that Autism is not on a linear. spectrum, and each autistic individual has endless possibilities and often untapped potential.
The butterfly symbol evolved from the infinity symbol because a significant majority of Autistics also have ADHD -- it's estimated that as many as 70% of Autistics may have ADHD (some diagnosed, some undiagnosed).
The butterfly or hummingbird resonate with me as ADHD symbols because they're frequently in motion. The constant movement can represent both physical (external) hyperactivity and internal hyperactivity (i.e. racing thoughts) and the challenge in keeping our brains and bodies calm.
Being Autistic and having ADHD is a unique neurotype, one that most professionals don't fully understand. My son and I are both AuDHD, giving me a unique blend of personal, professional, and academic experience.
To mark Autistic Pride Month, I've started my own line of ADHD and Autistic pride shirts and related merchandise.
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