I sent an ask before, but I’m not sure if you got it. Are puzzle pieces bad? Could you explain why?
I’ve seen your explanations before and you make things so easy to understand.
I’ve always really like the puzzle piece thing because autism for me feels as if I have all the necessary information (the pieces and a guide for where they go), but I’m unable to make them fit together, like they’ve been warped from humidity or something and won’t actually connect.
There’s not necessarily an inherent reason why the puzzle piece should be offensive (and there are a lot of ways in which it could have been a positive symbol.) It’s offensive because it’s a symbol that’s strongly associated with hateful attitudes. (That’s often the case with symbols.)
The puzzle piece is widely used by hate groups like Autism Speaks in degrading ways. That has made it an extremely offensive symbol.
What Autism Speaks (and many other hate groups) means by using a puzzle is along the lines of “autism is a mysterious puzzle, and we need to solve the puzzle so we can rearrange autistic people so they won’t be autistic anymore.“
People who would like their brains and want to keep them tend to dislike seeing lots of reminders that many people are working very hard to figure out how to make them different people. (It helps some to remember that seeing these symbols around is actually an admission on their part that attempts to get rid of us are failing.)
It’s not so much the inherent meaning - there are all kinds of ways a puzzle piece could have been a good symbol - it’s that it’s become a symbol of hate because of how it’s been used.
tl;dr Puzzle pieces are an offensive symbol for autism because hate groups make them into a symbol of contempt for autistic people.