The puzzle piece logo representing the many facets of autism is recognized worldwide as the symbol for this puzzling condition colored by its mystery and complexity.
Like an integral piece of the puzzle, those with autism search for their place to fit in and integrate within a society where they may often feel isolated. As complex as the disorder can be, the needs for those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be just as complex, from specialized therapies to ongoing care.
According to the Federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) who monitors the prevalence of ASD, it has risen from one in 150 in 2000, to one in 68 in 2010, and although there is no known cure, there are successful treatments, therapies and approaches that benefit those diagnosed with ASD.
Although autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, the puzzle logo also designates hope through it’s bright primary colors. Each color reveals an enhancement of the nature of the condition, as well as the possibilities for a life well lived through proper understanding and awareness.
As those with ASD transition into adulthood there are more pieces to fit into the puzzle such as employment, housing, and independence. Opengate assists these individuals to make informed choices that will ease the transitions and offer them opportunities that may not otherwise be available.
Included in the Opengate mission statement: “Opengate realizes the rights of developmentally disabled individuals to become part of the mainstream to the maximum extent of their capabilities. “
Those with autism present vast levels of capability and each individual deserves to be met where they are, learning to best use their talents and skills. Opengate fosters an environment of consideration and care through programs and services designed to support the individual based on their ability.
In observance of Autism Awareness Month each April, we ponder over each piece of the jigsaw puzzle logo and observe how to best educate the public and contribute to the enrichment of those living with autism as well as their families and caregivers.