50 Amazing Tattoos for Autism Awareness

autism tattoo
hannah.leigh.tattoos/Instagram

All tattoos have meaning, but some also have great reach and ability to inspire change, like the tattoos moms and dads and other loved ones get to raise awareness about autism. These beautiful works of art are as expressive as they are important. While April is Autism Awareness Month, a tattoo is forever, allowing its message to continue to inspire change and hope. 

There are so many cool tattoo design ideas that creatively incorporate the puzzle piece, the symbol that is often used to reflect the immense complexity of the autism spectrum. All the different colors and shapes are often used to represent the diversity of all the kids and grownups living with autism. We've certainly inspired by the way an amazing tattoo artist can turn the puzzle piece into a standout out work of art. 

For moms, dads, or family members of kids with autism or those who may have autism themselves, there are so many amazing ways to get inked in honor of autism awareness. We've rounded up some beautiful tattoos in honor of autism awareness that are certain to inspire. 

autism tattoo
hannah.leigh.tattoo/Instagram

  • Colorful Butterfly Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Love this bold and colorful butterfly tattoo with the puzzle pattern for autism. It stands out just like it should to spread awareness. 

  • Puzzle Piece Sleeve Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Do you see the pretty yellow puzzle piece tattoo in this beautiful sleeve -- it's right up near the wrist. What a lovely piece of artwork in honor of autism awareness. 

  • Folk Art Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    The colors on this tattoo are incredible -- we love the lack of a black outline and how the tree grows out of a heart, showing the symbol for autism awareness.

  • Superhero Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    The cape is a perfect way to show our love for our kids -- they are all heroes. 

  • Photographic Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    In a word, this tattoo is brilliant. But it really is so much more.

  • Flying Free Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    We've always loved bird tattoos, and this beautiful added puzzle piece just makes it even more meaningful. 

  • Feather Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This colorful feather serves as a beautiful reminder that we can incorporate our awareness, and raising awareness, into any design. 

  • "Love" Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    The sweetest expression paired with the loveliest of hearts. This is perfect. 

  • Delicate Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This tattoo is still in progress, but it is clearly absolutely stunning. 

  • Star Wars Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Not only is this tattoo awesome, but so is the story behind it. This tattoo is on a woman who, with her husband and autistic son, built an R2D2, and they go to different charity events (and Star Wars events) to raise awareness. 

  • Watercolor Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    We love the henna designs within the puzzle piece, and the incredible splashes of watercolor. 

  • Bumble Bee Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This bee is fantastic, and the wing looks perfect with the puzzle piece, but we also love the placement -- right on the hand, always right there, raising awareness. 

  • Love Letter Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    In a word, LOVE is how we feel about our children. This tattoo also honors an individual child, and that is truly love, truly beautiful.

  • Bold Birdy Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    So creative! We love this concept so much. And the bold colors make it pop. 

  • "Respect Differences" Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This is such a lovely design with the perfect message.

  • Personalized Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This is this person's son's own handwriting -- we couldn't love this more.

  • Geometric Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This stunning geometric piece so beautifully raises autism awareness.

  • Big Butterfly Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Marsha Roberson Armstrong got inked for her son and daughter:

    "Jonas is 10, diagnosed at age 3. His sister Jaden, age 9, is always carrying the load and looks out for him all the time. I incorporated the autism ribbon as the body of a butterfly for my son, and my daughter is the wings."

  • Small Hand Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Mom Holley Jacobs has one autism tattoo for her son, Jacob:

    "I have one green puzzle piece on my right hand next to my thumb and my first finger. I love art and photography and consider tattooing an extremely creative art form. I have 13 tattoos, but all of them can be covered when necessary. Unfortunately, in the business world, looks matter; they shouldn't, as my tattoos do not affect my intelligence, but such is life.

    "The reason I mention that is because the ONLY tattoo that I cannot cover up is the autism puzzle piece. Green is both Jacob's and my favorite color, which is why it is green. This is my smallest but most important tattoo. I strategically placed it where it is. I am right-handed, and whenever I meet someone, the first thing I do is shake their hand and say hello. This has always been a habit of mine and I get such positive reaction. I would estimate that maybe 90 percent of the people who I shake hands with and see the tattoo (which it is IMPOSSIBLE not to see it) either smile and say how great it is (because they know the meaning) or they question me about it. Now, the latter are who I love to talk to because it is the sole reason I got the tattoo.

    "I wanted a way to raise awareness about autism but without a lot of money; I am limited. What I do have is my time, which I use to volunteer, and I have my body, which I adorn with art including the most precious piece of art -- my autism puzzle piece."

  • Prime Colored Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Whitney Moore got inked for her nephew, Hayden, at Glenn's Tattoo Service by Max:

    "He has come so far since July. I also got it to spread the word about autism!"

  • Happy Penguin Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    The caption on Facebook alongside the photo of this lovely tattoo said: "Done at Docc's Custom Ink Tattoo Studio in Bonne Terre, Missouri, by Sean Seger on Crystal Bruns. Love it!"

  • Infinity and Beyond Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Erin Mast, committee chair of the Central NY Community of Autism Speaks and mom behind A Million Pieces for Autism, recently got this, her second autism-related tattoo, in honor of her sons on the spectrum:

    "The infinity is obviously for the love I have for my boys. Each puzzle piece is representative of each boy. Christian's favorite color is purple, so his is the purple one. Camden's is red and his is the red one. Carter's is blue so his is the blue one."

  • Dandelion Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Megan Barnhill's son, Judah, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in April of 2011 when he was 4 years old. In April of 2012, she got her first tattoo in honor of him, done by Michael Smith at Orange Moon Art Studio in Evansville, Indiana:

    "The symbolism behind the tattoo is that although autism is a huge part of who he is and the foundation of how and why he does most things (the puzzle piece), he can go anywhere and do anything in his life that he wants to. Just like a dandelion, I know that he will go far and wide in his life and leave a lasting impact where ever he lands.

    "He is special and unique and will change the world for the better, making it a more beautiful place, and my heart and love will always be with him (the hearts). I love when people ask me about it because it gives me a chance to tell them about Judah, autism, and how both have changed my life and made me a better mom, wife, and person. I wouldn't change a thing about my son!"

  • Original Artwork Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Emily Aluisia Schrader drew her own tattoo in honor of son Cassius who will be 5 in July:

    "I drew the heart for love, the olive branch for God's promise, and the puzzle piece for the autism."

  • "Hope" Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Jeffrey Pope's wife, Christie, has her own tattoo for their 3-year-old son:

    "Ever since we began this journey called autism, I knew I wanted another tattoo, one to represent this amazing experience.

    "The constant in my head whenever I hear or think of autism is 'hope.' Hope is what drives me forward. Hope is what fills my soul. Hope is what pushes me on to find the cause and the cure. While thinking of the concept and design, I looked at the three hearts intertwined on my wrist and the Christian fish with 'faith' on my foot and then it hit me. I had faith, and I had love, and hope was meant to be -- three things that will always be, faith, hope, and love."

  • Nautical Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Samantha Baker, a mom of two, describes the tattoo on her foot:

    "I went in with only wanting the puzzle piece. Together we came up with the nautical star, because I am a boater and love the water. The heart, well, that's just for the love of my two boys.

    "I have two boys on the autism spectrum. They are also my only two children. They are the loves of my life! I got this tattoo done for my birthday in 2010. I would do anything for them.

    "In 2012, the lives of my boys were turned upside down, as was mine. They were both diagnosed with a rare genetic brain tumor, which turned out to be cancer. They are not twins but are biological brothers. They are 15 and 12. They were diagnosed two and a half months apart. They are my two miracles! They both went through chemo and radiation last year and are both in remission! I am the luckiest mom in the entire world. They are the best children I could ever ask for!

    "I swore this one on my foot would be my last one. I now have one more to get. This year, I am getting the gray cancer ribbon with the words 'never give up hope.'"

  • Rib Quote Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This tattoo comes from a dad, Jeffrey Pope. As his wife says of the ink on his ribs:

    "Brody is an amazing, loving, intelligent, absolutely incredible 3-year-old. He is truly a blessing and has taught us to embrace the moments, not the milestones. To rejoice with the new sounds he has begun to make, the progress we continue to see, the new skills he continues to gain, and the love that is never-ending.

    "Autism may be one word used to describe him, but it certainly does not define him. We are two parents on a mission to spread knowledge, raise awareness, find the cause and the cure. And to continue to be the best advocates for our son."

  • Rubik's Cube Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Artist Joe Helm of Docc's Custom Ink Tattoo Studio in Bonne Terre, Missouri, created this Rubik's cube tattoo for Kathy Pruitt. It was the second autism-related tat done at the studio this month. There's no limit to what can be done for an autism-themed tattoo!

  • "Let It Go" Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This tat belongs to Rachel Werning, who offered this description:

    "I worked with a student for four years. He never liked anyone to be upset. He could sense if anything was off and tell people to 'let it go.'

    "My tattoo is his handwriting -- his single heart colored in his favorite color (teal). I then had the tattoo artist blow up that heart for the puzzle piece inside a purple heart (my favorite color is purple).

    "This student has inspired me in more than words can say. It is because of him that I went forward and got my master's in special education with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorder. He is the reason I walked on April 13 and the reason I continue in the field of behavior. He will forever be in my heart ... amazing talented now young adult I was privileged to know. Whenever life is stressful -- or just too hard to take -- I look at my ankle, and I can hear his voice saying, 'Let it go, Ms. Werning, let it go.'" 

  • Tubie & Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Steph runs the "Inked for Autism, Tattoos With a Purpose" Facebook page. So of course she has one herself! Here's what she had to say about her unique design:

    "After much decision and planning I finally had my tattoo designed and done at Miraculous Creations by Eddy. I have four children on the spectrum, and one of those (the youngest) also has a feeding tube. She's a tubie, so it's a combo tattoo for autism and tubie awareness."

  • Metamorphosis Autism Tattoo

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    Butterflies are commonly seen in autism tattoo designs. This one is unique because it includes pretty vines, caterpillar, and a name in original handwriting. 

  • Connecting Pieces Autism Tattoo

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    Some tattoo artists even donate to autism awareness for the month of April! This artist wrote: 

    "First #autismtattoo done for the month, all month long we donate half of the cost to #austismawareness my clients got these for his children who were both born with autism, it was quite an amazing story and I'm sure always an uphill journey, but anything worth doing is never easy is it?"
  • Behind the Ear Autism Tattoo

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    This behind the ear tattoo says "Different, not less." The placement is pretty cool and it incorporates a small puzzle piece. 
  • Disney Script Autism Tattoo

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    This colorful heart tattoo uses Disney script for the quote: "Till all the pieces fit." It's so cute! 

  • Floral Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This one a girl got for her cousin with autism. The incorporation of the pink flowers is a really pretty touch. 

  • Simple But Meaningful Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This one a woman got for her son. It's very simple, but still so powerful. 

  • Family Tree Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This tree design is very creative. The outlines of the mother and son are reminiscent of a "family tree" and growth. The puzzle pieces add colors and dimension to the piece. 

  • World Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This quote says: "Wouldn't change you for the world." It's gorgeous, heartwarming, and the globe with the puzzle piece is a very clever design. 

  • Kid Art Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    According to this mom: 

    "The tattoo I got in honor of my special little boy. Last year for autism awareness month (April) my munchkin colored his puzzle piece and wrote his name. I always dreamed of getting it tattooed since it was something that had so much meaning to us, thanks to my wonderful husband who encouraged me to get it now because later on I wouldn't (and I know he is very right), I got it done and it was my birthday present from him."

  • Piglet Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Cartoon characters are also a fun way to design a tattoo for autism. This Piglet one is adorable! 

  • Pumpkin Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    A pumpkin is a unique choice that probably has meaning to this specific person. The fading colors are really fantastic, it almost looks like it's iridescent. 

  • Squirt Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Squirt is another super cute character choice, especially for Finding Nemo lovers. The colors are so bright and fun. 

  • Handprint Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Using a kids handprint also gives a very personal touch. And his name is incorporated very nicely. 

  • Across the Back Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    This back design looks so cool! The butterfly, puzzle pieces, and words all flow so perfectly together. 

  • Rainbow Tree Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    These colors are so vibrant. A tree is common design, but it's so easy to make it unique for every person who gets it. The puzzle pieces made to look like leaves looks fantastic. 

  • Dream Catcher Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    How gorgeous is this back design!? The dreamcatcher and flowers give this autism tattoo such a whimsical feel. 

  • Blue Detailed Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Blue is one of the most used colors to show support for autism awareness. The intricate line work in this with the blue highlights are so well done! 

  • A Mother's Heart Autism Awareness Tatttoo

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    This powerful autism tattoo really utilizes negative space in the best way. 

  • Micky Mouse Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    The colors and sharpness of this design are so on point! And the Disney quote with Mickey Mouse really tie in together perfectly. 

  • Holding Hands Autism Awareness Tattoo

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    Creating a heart with holding hands is such a sweet idea. It also has the personal touch of the handwriting -- which is always special. 

tattoos autism