Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, January 28, 2013

Taking it BACK

BTW, this post is also on Taking Back the Puzzle, which is what it's supposed to be introducing.

Reclaiming slurs is a thing that movements do, sometimes, taking back words that have been used against us as weapons and making them our own again.
Autism Speaks does not own puzzles and puzzle pieces. Generation Rescue, Autism Rights Watch, Autism Society of America, autism awareness groups in general, parents of children with autism, Autism Parents... none of them own puzzles or puzzle pieces. Many of them did trademark the individual piece designs they use, but do you know how many more piece designs there are?
We can use completed puzzles, that aren't missing any pieces. We can use logic puzzles. We can use those puzzles where there is one simple thought trick that is key. With it, the solution seems obvious, but without it, the puzzle seems impossible. We can use corner pieces, which are integral to holding the whole puzzle together. We can use that one last center piece where it takes a long time to figure out where it goes, but it's actually really important- not as a "figuring out how to fix autistic people" is that last center piece, but that we are that piece, that it takes longer to figure out where we fit in life, that it takes more work to figure out where we fit in life, but that we are important, we are needed.
When words or images have been made weapons against us, we can attempt to delete the words, we can attempt to delete the images, we can attempt to delete the associations between us and the words or images. Sometimes it is a word or image we never wanted, one where there is no way to give it a positive meaning. Sometimes it is one we would never have chosen, but where there is nonetheless a good interpretation of the image, one is positive and makes sense.
We might never have chosen puzzles, but there are good ways to look them, and so we are Taking Back the Puzzle. Changing an association is much easier than deleting one completely, so let's make puzzles our tools, not the tools of those who wish for our non-existence.


  1. I don't think it would work to "reclaim" a tainted symbol that is still in use by the people who tainted it. We do not have a prior use of puzzles that Autism Speaks co-opted.

    I would rather promote an alternative symbol, such as the rainbow-hued lemniscate (infinity symbol, horizontal 8) many autistics have adopted.

    1. Yeah, this whole thing didn't work out. I'm leaving this here because I'm not pretending not to have messed up, but this isn't happening.


I reserve the right to delete comments for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things.