|(image source: autismchildcare.com)|
If only you could comprehend how hard life is for me.
I know I’m only a little boy, but my world I want you to see.
Things are always changing right before my eyes;
But don’t you see I cannot change with the direction of the tide?
It’s a different kind of world I see, with my big brown eyes;
They call it autism, and they think it’s my demise.
What I’d really like for them to know
Is that my life is really about surprise.
Every day is something different--something very new,
A phone, a clock, no a watch, I mean a shoe.
Sometimes I have a hard time expressing what I want,
And changing my mind ... well I do that a lot.
I have a hard time talking to people; please don’t think I’m rude.
I try to talk to another child. I really do.
But sometimes my words don’t work, and I hit instead--
Now I really blew it, and no one wants to be my friend.
Some people are trying to find a cure for autism right now, as I speak,
But why do I need to be cured?
There is nothing wrong with me.
Please don’t try to heal me; I’m not sick.
And instead of trying to fix me, enjoy my creativity.
My autism makes me who I am and sets me far apart,
but it only brings me closer to my family’s heart.
Autism is not something you should accept—it’s something to embrace,
For life with me is full of wonder and constant change.
I break up the monotony of daily life,
and, although I don’t mean to, I sometimes cause some strife.
Autism changed me from all others except for my own kind,
and it has succeeded in showing all the world,
that love and autism bind.
Autism is a complex condition that many people have difficulty dealing with or even understanding. It would be true to say that the majority of the population cannot comprehend why autistic people don’t follow the ‘normal’ conventions that society demands. Within the more immature groups of our society, there are those who think that those with autism simply have a problem and that they should not be tolerated due to what is perceived as strange and abnormal thinking and acting patterns, which are not seen as being the way in which a ‘normal person’ would act.
This poem shows us a completely different perspective on autism.
The young boy obviously feels that, even though he acts rather unconventionally at times and can even be quite violent, he is normal; he doesn’t want to change, he just wants to be accepted – even loved - for who he is. The boy regards himself as someone who brings happiness and joy to his family. Yes, he may cause trouble for them every now and again, but he feels he keeps them on their toes and they will never be bored; the element of surprise, of seeing life differently, will be his gift to them.
So, if someone with autism can express himself so clearly, without any sign of self-pity for his condition, surely we, as a society, need to try hard to accept them for their positive qualities, not deride and shun them for their negative ones.
For more information about autism: