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Posts Tagged ‘poem’

In Their Own Words – What is Autism?

September 25, 2010 29 comments

This “In Their Own Words,” is written by Megan Winkler-Schmitt, who was inspired to write after her best friend’s son was diagnosed with autism.

I was thinking today, as I dried my hair, about what this mysterious thing called autism really is. I started making of list of what it is, based on what I’ve seen only, and I ran into the other room to write it down. I’d like to share it with you.

Please note that this is what autism looks like to me. These are the experiences I’ve had with it, and it differs from your own. I do not have a child with autism, but a little one very special to me and very dear to my heart struggles with it. I have learned so much from this little angel who is undeniably special and infinitely precious, and I see autism as something very real now. Let’s just say that for me, myths have been thrown out the window, and when you know someone with autism, you realize that what you thought you knew isn’t correct at all.

I don’t know why this jumped into my head. I wasn’t reading anything on it online. I wasn’t talking about it. I didn’t see a news program on it. But, sometimes, inspiration hits and you just have to listen. So, here are my thoughts. Please, please, share your thoughts with me, too.

 (And yes, I realize that it came out in very loose poetic form; it’s just how it works sometimes.)

 Autism is joy in little things.
It is pain and heartache.
It is the pleasure of bubbles;
the consistency of golden toast.
It is running through sprinklers,
because it just feels so good.
It is frustrated little grunts,
communication in screams,
a mommy who just wants to hear,
“I love you,” but even “Mommy” would be nice.

Banging your head against the wall,
it is the sleep of a sleepless night.
It is pleading and begging,
bargaining and weeping.
It is a mother and father clinging to one another,
and faith.

It is the crunch of a leaf,
it is the wind in your hair.
It is the simple joy of repetition,
the comfort of a pattern,
the security of routine.

It is unexpected moments,
of open-mouthed kisses:
those little things others take for granted.

It is loving a fluffy dog with your cheek,
and crossing your eyes,
just because the world looks curiously different that way.
It is inventing your own language
that only the fairies and Mommy speak.

It is struggle; it is strife.
It is imperfection,
but, then again,
so is everything,
in life.

It is tears and fears,
but it is simplicity and innocence.
It is not taking for granted,
it is cherishing, hoping,
running up a down escalator.

And if life is perfect,
just the way it is:
faults and imperfections,
second-guesses and small joys,
then what is autism but life,
lived in its own way?

“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.

In Their Own Words – Wounded Heart

August 13, 2010 6 comments

We received the following e-mail and poem from an individual who asked to remain anonymous: I’ve been following your posts via Facebook and truly appreciate your efforts for people associated with autism. I, myself, had/have a similar condition. I have social anxiety and selective mutism. The symptoms I had when I was young were similar to those of autism. Please let me share a poem I had written. I’m now a 30 year old, who has been struggling to lead a normal life.

It all started in 84′,
The life of a student who’s slow..

Going to school with bro and sis,
They were great caregivers of his..

Never spoke in the class,
No wonder he was a true outcast..

A student’s life for him was never there,
Playing time was also nowhere..

Loneliness was all to know,
There should have been something more..

Primary, Secondary all the same,
Sitting still as if in shame..

Wanted to make friends and get a life,
Sadly nothing much was left to rejoice..

Felt sorry for kind classmates,
The pain was really hard to take..

Didn’t respond even when asked,
One can imagine it was so tough..

Started to utter before the school’s end,
Begin to get a life only then..

Some improvements in recent years,
Even then he can’t forget the tears..

Many things still of which he is afraid,
Despite him having turned twenty eight..

Always desperate to improve and make a start,
But the wound is there in his heart.

“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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In Their Own Words – The Lonely and Disregarded

July 10, 2010 11 comments

Robin Bailey e-mailed us this poem written by her 16-year-old son, Blake, who has autism. Both his local and school newspapers have printed it.

There, he stands
Watching those that don’t know he stands
In short distance, lonely and disregarded
Waiting for a friend understanding and trusted.

There, he stands
Shedding the tears inside, unnoticed
Listening in misery, lonely and disregarded
Thinking of a sad, cruel world he exists on.

There, he stands
Scared of speaking, for he sees anger
He remaining silent, lonely and disregarded
Crouching in a corner like an old memory.

There, he stands
Waiting for a person to stare and speak
Smiling and breaking him from lonely and disregarded
Wrapping arms around, as true friendship.

There, he no longer stands
No longer lonely and disregarded
Smiling with the purest glee
For he found that friend.

“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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In Their Own Words – Will’s Angel

June 29, 2010 18 comments

We recently received the following e-mail and poem submission:
Two years ago my son had a very trying school year. It was riddled with setbacks and aggressive behaviors. This year was the opposite. He and his classmates were introduced to another new teacher but his year was quite different. She inspired my words below, as I imagine the feelings through my son’s eyes. I wanted to share it with you.

Before we met, I walked a world,
Couldn’t see quite eye to eye,
My mind held back ten thousand words,
Like wind against the tide.

You found a way to speak to me,
You found your way inside,
You called me out to play with you,
You found me where I hide.

I like to do the things you ask,
I try so hard each day,
I like it when you smile at me,
It tells me I’m okay.

You teach me not to be afraid,
I watch you every day,
Your face says you are brave and kind,
And fear won’t win today.

You gave a gift I can’t repay,
You wrapped it gracefully,
My mom says you reached in your heart,
And gave me dignity.

I think that there are angels now,
But the right time it must be,
And I thank God for knowing this,
And for sending mine to me.

This “In Their Own Words” poem was written by Julie Jones, a mother who has a son with autism.

“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.

Categories: In Their Own Words Tags: , , ,

In Their Own Words – The Voice Unheard

June 4, 2010 40 comments

The Voice Unheard

I scream
I cry
I bang
You still don’t understand
The words won’t form for me to speak
But alas I have much to say
If only there was a way
A way for you to hear me
From behind the prison bars

The children on the streets stare
Like illuminating eyes in the night
I appear not to care
As they ponder over the sight
Of me walking on my toes
And screaming without no cause
To them I’m an alien
If only they could understand

There’s more than meets the eye with me
I’m not just some freak
If they could only see
I can’t help what I am or how I act
There’s much more under the surface
A truth waiting to be found
I’m not going to die
But that doesn’t make things alright

My mind, my body
Don’t work like they should
I’m trapped
A prisoner
No one’s knows how it happens
Why I can’t talk to you
It’s something in my brain
That went askew

There are others like me that can talk
But their case is different than mine
See we are all very different
Even with the same infected mind

In my case, I’m severe
I can’t talk
Only scream and yell
I bang walls and slam doors
And windows in cars
My senses aren’t like yours
My sense of feeling is off
I bang my head down on a table
Just to be sure it’s still there

Autism isn’t like cancer
There’s no cure
Or solution found
Only drugs and medication
To try and calm us down
But I am lucky to have a family
That loves me so much
They make sure I’m taken care of
And do everything they must

So next time you see me on the street
Or others of the same fate
Think of all we go through
Just to get through each day
Autism has a voice
If you take time to listen
You will hear

This “In Their Own Words” essay is by 15-year-old Emily Church. Emily’s 12-year-old brother has autism and she wrote this poem for a high school English class. “The Voice Unheard” is written from the point of view of her brother explaining his actions.

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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