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In Their Own Words – If You Knew

June 9, 2011 43 comments

This poem is by Lisa Madren, whose son has autism.

You do not know my child

But if you did, you’d regret the time spent that you did not know him

He is different

But that does not mean he is not a wonder to behold

Sometimes beauty lies behind what is considered “normal”

Sometimes the beauty of a special soul lies within an enigma

A pearl that lies imprisoned in a tough clam’s shell

A treasure that you must work hard to get at

To pry open

To find the jewel underneath

And once you saw that pearl, you would want to admire it

You would want to possess it

You would want to display it proudly

And you would wonder why you had not seen it underneath its shell before

And you might stop to observe the other previously unnoticed gems in the sea

You might discover that not all the coral must be red

Or all the fish must be golden

Or that all the seaweed must be green

To have value

To deserve friendship

To be capable of love

If you knew my child your vision would widen to see all the colors and possibilities

That lie within all of God’s creatures

If you knew my child

If you really knew my child.

“In Their Own Words” is a series within the Autism Speaks blog which shares the voices of people who have autism, as well as their loved ones. If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.

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