To me, it seems like we’re promoting the branding of a company, not a cause. Autism Speaks is known for their blue puzzle piece… they have branded their “corporation” and they certainly don’t speak for all people with Autism, if you follow the discussions amongst those of us living with Autism in our families.
I’ve worked for big corporations before, and I know the power of branding. While I can appreciate the sentiment of getting the word out, spreading awareness about the autistic spectrum, I’m not sure what wearing blue has to do with it.
The goal of branding a cause with a color, is to show your support while perhaps getting a bit of education about the subject across too. In the case of the Autistic Spectrum, I would think that a really nice goal in addition to showing “awareness” would be to separate fact from fiction about those on the autistic spectrum. This would include how Autism is a SPECTRUM disorder, which means it looks very, very different on each person. You seen one person with autism, you’ve seen one person with autism… I’m sure you’ve heard that before.
The reality of a spectrum disorder is that folks with it display symptoms, characteristics, quirks… whatever you want to call it… that fall between being very high functioning and very low functioning. That is to say, on the HF autism end, like those with Asperger’s, you’ll find people who are very eloquent in their speech and thought process, highly intelligent and creative; who often have deficits when it comes to social awareness, social skills, social discourse and a higher sensitivity when it comes to anxiety, sensory issues and theory of mind. On the low end, there are those who cannot speak, those who cannot communicate in any fashion, cognition impairment. Then you’ve got everything and everyone in between… hence the term: spectrum disorder.
So, as far as I’ve always known, a rainbow is the perfect representation of the spectrum and a rainbow is the “branding” of the cause of autism. If we are supposed to be spreading awareness, why are we not wearing rainbows tomorrow?? What’s up with the blue?
I honestly do not understand why Autism Speaks is promoting their own brand over that of Autism.
So tomorrow, for what it’s worth.. I’m wearing every color in my closet… to support Neurodiversity!