Designing Diversity: Monster Mascots of the Autism Spectrum6 min read

Happy Autism Acceptance Month, Aspergians!

I’m mon­ster designer Ra Butler, and to cel­e­brate the month of April and raise aware­ness about the diver­sity among indi­vid­uals on the autism spec­trum, I decided to create a group of unique crea­tures who embody a few of the dif­ferent strengths and chal­lenges of people with ASD. All of us are dif­ferent and expe­ri­ence life in our own unique way, so these friendly crit­ters were lov­ingly crafted to rep­re­sent that.

Without fur­ther ado, I’m proud to present my new friends!

Because his out­side is made of stone, Rokko is often thought to have a flat affect, even though inside he is full of vari­able and mag­ical fluid that gives him a unique and rich emo­tional expe­ri­ence.

Even though some­times he has trouble com­mu­ni­cating his emo­tions, Rokko is smart, honest, and loyal. Rokko feels very con­nected to things that he is inter­ested in, and his favorite thing is lizards. Like Rokko, Lizards have trouble reg­u­lating their body tem­per­a­ture, have rough exte­riors, and are often mis­un­der­stood by humans.

The fluid inside Rokko changes colors with his emo­tions, and steams up through his head as it processes. The hole in his head is small, so some­times it can be hard for him to process and reg­u­late his emo­tions. Because of this, Rokko can get over­whelmed by his emo­tions, and need some space to get back to his usual self.

Like his stony exte­rior, Rokko can be inflex­ible and prefers to stick to his rou­tine. Be sure to give him plenty of notice if things change.

Rokko is a great friend to have, and hopes you’ll take the time to get to know him!

Yin-Yin is a happy little crea­ture who loves to talk and make friends! Yin-Yin doesn’t always realize that she is talking loudly, but you would be hard-pressed to find a match for her won­derful enthu­siasm!

Yin-Yin some­times has trouble taking care of her body and orga­nizing tasks. This means that her thick yellow hair tends to get matted or tan­gled, but she is still quite the little charmer!

Yin-Yin has a sen­si­tive diges­tive system and is picky about the foods she eats. She always appre­ci­ates when you take the time to give her her favorite fruits.

Her long ears are sen­si­tive to loud noises, and even though she loves to be social and make friends, after being around people for too long, Yin-Yin will need some time to curl up and recover. After that, Yin-Yin will be ready to play again, so just give her a little time.

Yin-Yin is a social and fun crea­ture who is always happy to be included!

Gilly expe­ri­ences life dif­fer­ently from most, feeling like life moves in waves. He likes to go at his own pace, and take things slowly.

Gilly likes loud, rhythmic music because it feels like it helps to reg­u­late the tempo in his head. He loves to sing along with his favorite songs!

Gilly has his own way of com­mu­ni­cating how he is feeling, which is by how the flower on his head looks. If it is bright and perky, then he is feeling happy, but if it starts to droop, he may need to be cheered up.

Being an amphibious crea­ture, Gilly has del­i­cate and sen­si­tive skin. He would like for his friends to know that even though he doesn’t like to be touched, there are plenty of other ways to show you care about him.

He needs to stay wet to keep his skin healthy, but some­times for­gets to take care of him­self. You can help Gilly by reminding him to get wet or pouring water from a watering can on him. Just be sure to tell him before you do, because Gilly doesn’t like sur­prises!

Gilly has a sweet and gentle soul, and likes to live life moment-to-moment.

Blee lives in the ocean, and because she is light and squishy, she is easily pushed around by the cur­rents in her envi­ron­ment. Blee senses the world around her with the little glowing orbs in her head, so she can sense some things most people can’t but also misses things most people don’t.

With her one big eye, Blee is very focused. Some would call her obses­sive, but she is just very pas­sionate! She loves to learn about her favorite things, and the sub­ject she likes the most is Ancient Greece, specif­i­cally the build­ings and the pot­tery.

Blee makes repet­i­tive sounds and move­ments that make her happy and keep her calm. She often makes little “boop! boop!” noises and waves her long arms around through the water. Her body is extra soft and stretchy, so it is fragile and some­times very sore.

Blee likes tight hugs, and gets very attached to her friends. She is caring and gen­uine, and feels a lot of empathy. Are you ready to float through the ocean with her?

Just like his wings, Prizzit tends to think in black and white. Even though Prizzit doesn’t talk, you can see that he is always thinking because it makes his wings move and change.

All of Prizzit’s senses come in through his long antenna, so some­times his senses get mixed together. When lots of senses come in through his antenna, you can see him pro­cessing the infor­ma­tion as his wing pat­terns get more com­plex and frag­mented. If his wings get too frag­mented from all the infor­ma­tion, Prizzit can’t fly any­more and needs to take a break to process.

Prizzit loves to read, and has a spe­cial affinity for num­bers. He likes counting things and feels like num­bers have per­son­al­i­ties. Prizzit spends most of his time reading about math and sci­ence, and because he is very ana­lyt­ical, he is very good at solving prob­lems.

Prizzit often reads the same book more than once, because he finds re-experiencing a favorite thing to be calming and fun.

Prizzit would love to flutter beside you and read some books!

Thank you so much for meeting these little guy, they’re happy to have home right here on The Aspergian. But these crit­ters are ready to get some work done! In honor of autism accep­tance month, I’m selling shirts and other printed prod­ucts fea­turing these friendly rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the diver­sity of autism. Half of the pro­ceeds will be going to keeping this blog run­ning. (The other half goes to keeping me alive.) The Aspergian is such a great outlet for neu­ro­di­verse voices, and I’m hon­ored to be a con­trib­utor. Thank you for con­sid­ering sup­porting us.

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  1. I absolutely loved this. Thank you

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