Designing Diversity: Monster Mascots of the Autism Spectrum

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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12 Responses

  1. Can I use these to introduce to my ND students? I can introduce their differences with these Monsters and have open discussion on how it relates to my students and how to problem solve on self-advocacy. I see that Ra has T-shirts but will there be cards or posters? These Monster Mascots of Autism show positivity in the differences and students will love them too!

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