Home > In Their Own Words > In Their Own Words – Through My Eyes

In Their Own Words – Through My Eyes

We recently received the following e-mail and poem submission:
Hello. My name is Cassie Madison. I am 15 years old and I have PDD-NOS. As a child, it was very difficult for me to interact socially with other children. I wrote a poem about a day in kindergarten, as seen below. I decided to read it for my high school’s Poetry Day a few days ago. When I read it, I had no idea what would happen. Many students were actually crying because of what I wrote. Teachers and students alike have been coming up to me for the past week telling me how my poem touched them. I thought I would share it with you, because I want the world to know what it was like to be a child with autism. Though we may be different, we are still living, breathing humans. Though we may have difficulty expressing them, we still feel the same emotions as everyone else.

Through my eyes,
behind the long bangs,
I see the children playing.
I want to play with them.
But they don’t want me to.
A boy chases a girl around the room,
shrieking with laughter.
Girls play house in the corner next to the blocks.
To my right the children sit
with rag dolls on their laps,
styling their yarn hair
and dressing their flopping bodies.
I stand awkwardly in the back of the room,
watching everyone play happily
with a sense of envy, thinking,
I will never be normal like them.
I am the child nobody wants to play with,
the silent girl who can’t look anyone in the eye.
I am outcast.
Through my eyes I see the world,
but can the world truly see me?
Am I no more than a blip in the scenery,
another smudge of grey
on the paint-covered canvas of life?
I am more than what meets the eye.
I am more than the awkward child sitting silently by herself.
I can write stories about magical characters
that leap off the pages when read.
I can do math at a level higher than anyone in the class.
I can read chapter books,
I can sing songs;
I can be a person, too.
But what does this matter
in the eyes of a kindergartner?
To them, I am Different.
But through my eyes, they’re all just the same.

This “In Their Own Words” poem was written by Cassie Madison, a 15 year old who has PDD-NOS.

“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.

  1. Barbara Pons
    June 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    very beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • June 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm

      Cassie thank you so much for writing ths poem. Brody my 15 year old feels just like you and he is working on going up and talking and joining in with others, and its so hard for him because of his shyness and the rejection that happens sometimes.. Brody was glad to know he is not alone! thank you for that :) you made him feel better

  2. Shelly Diamond
    June 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

    This was my son also in kindergarten. The pain in my heart watching him from the class window will never go away. He gave up trying eventually, also heartbreaking. I wish they could have given him a chance, cos he had his own gifts the same as you wrote in your poem. Thanks so much for sharing! hugs

  3. Tami
    June 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Wow! What an amazing poem! As a special needs teacher, I could picture in my head children I know in that same situation. It brought me to tears, very powerful words. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Rhiannon
    June 25, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I loved the poem. It reminded me of my brother that has PDD-NOS. Thanks for sharing and keep writing :)

  5. Darlene Ouellette
    June 25, 2010 at 10:41 am

    WOW!!!! I can’t wait for the moment when my 7 year old son can communicate to us what he feels, he is bright also, though we can’t get it out of him. His magic is with the playdoh sea creatures he creates so quickly yet so detailed…. This gives us hope….Thank you so much for sharing. YOU are definitely an inspiration!

  6. Jackie Nelson
    June 25, 2010 at 10:41 am

    WOW! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. Allison Hollett
    June 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Dear Cassie – thank you for sharing your beautiful poem. I can’t wait to share it with my 14 year old daughter with PDD-NOS. Keep writing!!!!

  8. Sharon Alexander
    June 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Very beautiful and informative. God bless you :)

  9. Maria Steward
    June 25, 2010 at 10:49 am

    This is a very beautiful & moving poem. I printed it out so I could read it to my 9 year old who has Autism, M.R. ADHD & the mentality of a 6 yr old. But when you look at him, you don’t see anything different than what any other kid would look like. I can only imagine that this is how he felt when he wanted to ask kids to play with him but didn’t know how to get the words off the tip of his tongue. He has had to deal with some real awful kids who have called him dumb, slow, stupid, retarded etc..thank go he doesn’t know what those things mean..in the mean time I just want to take those kids by the ear & punch their parents in the face for raising ignorant children instead of teaching them that all kids are equal and if you don’t understand something, ASK!! So Thank you Cassie for this wonderful poem & best of luck to you!

  10. Lisa
    June 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Your words touch the heartstrings of all of us with family members that have autism. My 15 year old son has walked a similiar path. Although his Dad and I are proud of his freshman GPA, I think we’re more touched by the friends he made in class and on the high school baseball team.

    May all these beautiful kids really be seen by the world.

  11. Nancy Teksa
    June 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I work with children with autism. We decorate the display case every April and was wondering if I can have permission to use this poem next year. We are trying to raise the awareness and acceptance of our students with autism. It is a beautiful poem and would touch many people.

    • September 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Sure! Use it! I’m very happy that people like it. I’m a poet, and I write a lot of poetry, so when I wrote this I never thought it would have an impact on people. :)

  12. June 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

    That was so beautiful and inspiring. My granddaughter is Autisic and a very special child. I often find myself wondering what she is thinking and thanks to you I have a glimmer into her thoughts.

  13. lesley hunter
    June 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

    That is a beautiful poem. <3'd it!

  14. Sarah LaDue
    June 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This is very beautiful, very expressive. This poem sheds light on such a heart felt topic for children with varying types of disabilities. My daughter is 3, she is a bright, energetic child who is over loving to everyone. Yet, because she has ADHD and Autism she is often the uninvited child to my friends get together’s and birthday parties. It breaks my heart every time. Our neighbor had a 7th birthday party last weekend, again, my daughter was not invited. She cried her eyes as she saw all the children she used to play with not want to play with her. I held her close and whispered over and over how much mommy and daddy love her. Reading your poem made me cry because your words describe you… and also my daughter.

    • Cassie Madison
      June 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      It breaks my heart how cruel people can be to those who are different. But, she will eventually find people who are understanding and kind. It took me fifteen years (I’m now a junior in high school) but I finally found where I belong. As your daughter starts school, she will run into obstacles along the way. Just tell her to hold her head up high, and tell her not to care what people say and do. She will long to be like the “normal children” at school, and she will care, at first, but honestly, she’s a better person than they ever will be. Whatever happens, stick by her and support any effort to interact, no matter if the result is good or bad. Eventually, she will be accepted for who she is. Until then, she may be different, but who said that’s bad? Einstein was autistic, a high school drop-out. Your daughter will go far in life. I wish the best of luck to you and your daughter. Thanks for reading my poem!

  15. ilene
    June 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Very Touching……. Thanks for sharing!!!!~

  16. June 25, 2010 at 11:13 am

    This poem put tears in my eyes also. I have a grandson with autism. He is in preschool now. And is nonverbal. He is making progress.

  17. Kelly Smith
    June 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Dear Cassie<
    Your poem touched me so deep. I have a four year old daughter with autism. She was the same as you were. In the past year she has come so far. She just recently started to open up a little. I felt so much pain for her when I would take her to class and she would play alone or have melt downs because someone looked her in the eye. I'm thankful you had the courage to right such a wonderful poem. Because of your poem, I have hope that she too will be able to tell people what life is like with this disorder. Your are an inspiration to us all. Thank You and God Bless,

    June 25, 2010 at 11:22 am


  19. debbie
    June 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

    this is my granddaughter she is almost 5 . thank you I often would think what is she thinking? She is my Angel

  20. LAURA
    June 25, 2010 at 11:40 am


  21. Christa
    June 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Well said. It reminds me about when my oldest son, now 14, told me years later about the horrors he endured in 2nd grade when his teacher repeatedly humiliated him in front of the class and how his classmates felt badly for him…all because he was “different” and didn’t respond to her the same way others did! Best Wishes!

  22. Donna Y
    June 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    thank you for putting your feelings into words so that we can share them with others. Awesome job !!

  23. Sharon Carroll
    June 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    This poem really touched me. As a brand new lifeskills teacher who will be teaching kinders and 1st graders, who experience autism, next year, it really gave me a perspective on the worlds of my children and their families. Thank you for sharing this.

  24. Mary D
    June 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you, Cassie, for sharing this with your school. You have enlightened many. Bless you for your courage and intelligence – please keep writing. It would be valuable and interesting to know how you navigate social experiences (& school) in your quest for friendship and inclusion. Best wishes to you!

  25. Teri
    June 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    : I started crying a little with just the introduction and proceeded to cry even more when I read the poem. I wonder if my son ever feels like this. I wonder if I will ever know. I weep for this girl and for my son and for all kids on the spectrum.

  26. Mykiecha Clark
    June 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Aww, just beautiful and God bless you sweetie.

  27. Angie Simko
    June 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Dear Cassie, Your poem is beautiful. My almost 6 year old son with autism will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and I wonder if this is how his new world will be. He is very intelligent, but still is not able to express it easily. I long for the days when he can tell me how it really is in his world. Thanks for giving us parents a glimpse into your world and raising awareness. I wish every “typical” child could read this to understand what it is like for the lone autistic child who is shut out of their world. Keep writing and good luck!

  28. Diana
    June 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    My son has PDD-NOS, Thank You so very much for sharing. ; D

  29. Crys
    June 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I often wonder how my son felt when he was a little squirt :) He is almost 9 and has fully overcome his ASD challenges after 7 years of ABA…but he is unaware of his actual diagnosis, and rarely speaks about his feelings and experiences when younger. I hope he will share more with me when he is ready. You are a beautiful and brave person. Be proud of who you are, and please continue to share your stories and your gifts.

  30. Vicky M.
    June 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    This brings tears to my eyes. My son is 14 and diagnosed with Asperger’s. He longs to be creative with art. He has tried in small pieces, with no luck. I am trying to encourage him to try BIG. Then he can have more room to create. In the meantime, he has been writing. He has blessed us so far with 4 absolutely wonderful poems. He is also writing a short story (that could develop into a novel at this rate.

    I try to understand what he feels, how he sees the world. To him is is not different, just how he is….

    Thank you.

  31. Heather
    June 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    What a beautiful poem. I hope that one day my son will understand how special he is because he’s different and perhaps write his own story. Continue writing. You have a gift.

  32. June 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I use to get angry quite a bit but reading the WORD the BIBLE,has given me a clear understanding of what is at place or at stake. As parents of Children WITH Autism I DARE say we have a calling to show Christ love to our fellowman . This is those things we learn first hand in our Daily walk with our friends Family and Love ones Fruits of the Spirit Patience LOVE Compassion Mercy . This is what we are required to show at home and outside the home as well, so others can witness the LOVE THAT HE HAS FREELY GIVEN US( EVERYONE) EVERYDAY . My son is in FIFTH GRADE NOW ,he has friends that he plays with and even got involved with KARATE FOR A WHILE . It was not always like that, we had to learn quite a bit about him and each other as a family , and still continue too.Each step each victory is a step of Faith AND Love . Remember Faith without works are dead keep the faith and keep striving for victories AND CELEBRATING them no mater how little they may seem sometimes .
    God Bless you all

  33. Laurie Terio Rucando
    June 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    This is beautiful. I have a son who has Down Syndrome and Autism. I have been completely blessed by God to have been given my son. I have been blessed with 2 other children, but God must have trusted me alot to have given me Jimmy. He is now in a group home (it became to hard to take care of him), but he taught me more that I could have learned in 20 lifetimes. He is the lucky one — he knows no greed,hatred or any negative thing. He knows love – real love!!! I love him with all my heart and always will. When I visit him my heart just fills with joy.
    This poem is truly from the heart — it is what is seen through the eyes of someone with autism. — they may be different to some people, but to me they are
    “real” ones and we are the outcasts — if they would only realize that!!!

  34. Tammy
    June 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I work in a self-contained K-2 mild-mod classroom. I always am intigued and fascinated by the kids that are on the spectrum. I always wonder what they are thinking as I look at their sweet but often vacant expressions. Thank-you for sharing what it was like for you. I know it is probably different for different kids.

  35. Samantha Dudley
    June 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing. As we have said, they are looking for acceptance. This child wrote a lovely poem, I hope we see more. Good job.

  36. Kat Vallish
    June 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    How heartwrenching. Where was the teacher? 5 year olds will follow the example of the teacher/parents. 9 year olds will usually follow the example of the teacher/parents. 13 year olds will be nice or cruel all on their own.

    If there are any teachers out there. I know you have way too much on your plate everyday, but please at least try to help our kids fit in at least a little bit. Their social skills are the area they need the most help. The lack of social skills follows them to the work place making it difficult to get or keep a job, no matter how talented they are.

    Thank you for the teachers who get it. We love and appreciate you.

    • Debra
      June 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm

      I agree. As I read this poem, I couldn’t help thinking of my own daughter’s kindergarten teacher and how wonderfully she handled the classroom. She took the girls who were striving to be social “leaders” and taught them that being a good leader meant helping EVERYONE to succeed. She did not tolerate any bullying. She also worked a lot on teamwork and pairing kids up to work together. My daughter was academically advanced but very inappropriate socially, but she grew a lot during that year, and now, a few years later, has lots of good friends. There is a limit to what a teacher can accomplish, but there is a lot that they can do.

  37. Jenn
    June 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    This is beautiful. It gives me so much hope for my 4 year old autistic son. I dream of hearing his thoughts. I cannot thank you enough for sharing. This is so touching!

  38. June 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Dear Cassie:

    Your writing talent shines in this poem. As a therapist who runs groups for children and teens on the spectrum, I can tell you that you have made vivid the experience that each of them has had navigating the social terrain. I also think that the sense of being marginalized that you write about is an experience shared not only by those on the spectrum, but also by others who don’t fit the “norm”–those with social anxiety or physical attributes that make them appear different.

    Thank you for sharing your poem–I hope you will be able to utilize your writing talents in a career of your choosing.


    Christopher Mulligan, LCSW

  39. TAMIKA
    June 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm


  40. Melane
    June 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Tears came to my eyes as I read her story. I have to young men as sons with Ashbergers one more serious than the other. I can feel her pain and know what she went through. I am a Special Education Aide to an autistic child we are going into the fith grade next year. We have been very blessed the children in his classes treat him well and really are interested in understanding him. Good for you to write a wonderful poem about your feelings and experience. I hope several people will send this on to others so they can educate themselfs about Autisum.

  41. Lorrie Bryant
    June 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Beautiful poem. I may share it with a group of teenage girls this fall when I speak to them about Autism Spectrum Disorders.

  42. Faith
    June 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm


    Thank you so much for writing this. My niece is Autistic and has started to get picked on in school. She will go into kindergarten in the fall and I can’t understand why kids treat her any differently. In my eyes she is my little angel. Perfect, and can act however she want around me. I love her with all my heart and I wish she could tell me more about what it is that she has to put up with in her little head. I want to keep her safe and help her so that kids like her, but I know I can’t. Thank you for the insight into her life. I start to cry thinking about all the kids in the world that have autism. I wish I could give them all a big bear hug and make them feel better. Thank you so much. From a loving Aunt.

  43. Tonya
    June 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing. My son who has Asperger’s will start kindergarten this coming fall. I’m both excited and nervous for him. We’ll take things as they come! :D

  44. June 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Cassie, Thanks for writing this wonderful poem. My daughter is age 6, and also designated as PDD-NOS. I hope one day she is able to look back and write as you do. Thanks for giving me hope and more understanding of what the world may look like through her eyes.

  45. June 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I have a daughter, 13 yrs old, who is most likely on the spectrum. I read this poem to her and she immediately wanted to write to this girl. I told her that Autism Speaks protects peoples information. I just wanted to thank you for posting this. My daughter feels very much alone in her Special Ed class and it was good for her to see that there are others out there like her.

    • Cassie Madison
      June 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm


      Though Autism Speaks does protect information, the authors of the posts can willingly give it out. I am the girl who wrote this poem. (I am surprised that they posted it now; I sent this in two months ago.) I’d be happy to reply to any letters/emails sent to me by your daughter. I know how it feels to be alone, and it’s very hard, especially at her age. If you would like to contact me, my email address is kandamsjourney@gmail.com


      PS- I know it’s weird, having a stranger reply to your post. I could be anyone. But I can prove that I am me, because I have a video of the reading of this poem at my school.

  46. Susan
    June 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    That was beautiful Cassie! Thank you for sharing how you felt/feel with us … how else will I know how my 8yr old grandson Daniel is feeling inside when he is non-verbal & does not write yet … God bless you!

  47. Robin
    June 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    today I asked my grandson. What do you know? his response. I know your last name is Childress. WOW. brought tears to my eyes

  48. Natalie
    June 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Cassie, Thank you for sharing your poem. I know as a very shy child growing up some of the difficulties you experienced. I had a terrible time communicating my thoughts and feelings in school. I like to think it taught me to have a little more compassion for others who struggle to make friends and just fit in. Every parent should teach their children that all kids, especially those who seem different, need their friendship and kindness. God bless all those who are struggling to “fit in”. Know some people out there really do care about you. Love to you all.

  49. Greg Hunt
    June 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. This touches me as I watch my four-year old Sam go through this every day. Again, thank you for sharing….

  50. Cyndie
    June 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    You are not just a dot on a page or a grey smudge on a painting, you are the colors on the painting, and you are the wreiting on the paper, what a beautiful poem

  51. Ginny
    June 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    What a beautifully written poem, Cassie! I am an Adapted Physical Education Teacher and I teach primarily children with Autism. Seeing your words and feelings written out for all to read touches my heart and soul. It reminds me how children with Autism should be treated always…with the same respect as any child. If you had been my student, I would have found a way for you to be able to play with all of the other Kindergartners :)

  52. Greg
    June 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks Cassie for this amazing poem. Our daughter is PDD-NOS as well. I can only hope that she becomes as aware and grounded as you in the future. We her to be as independent as possible, though right by her side to protect her from “those” who seek to take advantage of her. Your story really gives us hope! God Bless.

  53. Sara
    June 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    EXACTLY what my son goes through in regular ed classes! thank you for sharing. i will be passing it on. you should be very proud of yourself. You are wise and can help other people who are going through the same thing…it is a gift!! Beautiful poem!

  54. Nancy Rader
    June 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I am going to share this with families of children with similar problem when they come to my lab for developmental research at Ithaca College in Ithaca NY. I think it is so important for everyone’s understanding of what it feels like to be different in this way.

  55. lisa
    June 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm


    I would love to have you read this poem at my daughters school she too has PDD, NOS and ADHD she is always being picked on at school. Her kindergarten days was the worst for her as the teacher always picked on her and put her in behind a cabnit to sit by her self. The child to date and is is graduating from the school 9 5th grade) make fun of her. She has no friends in school and now will be going to middle school. This poem shows how difficult it is for a child with PDD Nos or any disability to cope with the school day and how much they want to be part of the regular school day and hsve the children ask them to play not be required to have them play with them. My heart breaks for all the children with any disability the world can be so difficult as it is as for a child with a disabilty it is even more difficult.

  56. Lynda
    June 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    My daughter is 5. She should be starting Kindergarten in the fall but she is not.She has Autism. I have to wonder if she has these same feelings. Your poem is beautiful and rings true in my families life.

  57. Terra DeLoach
    June 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Man you really hit the nail on the head there. My son’s experience with PreK was a lot like that. We pulled him out when we noticed that none interaction, with the kids and well the teacher too. I stayed home with him and worked with him. When he did get to kindergarten he did wonderful he had friends even though there were times you could tell the other kids didn’t totally understand him. but he had friends. I know this must have been hard for you and I hope you keep writing and giving us insperation to keep working hard with our kids.

  58. Diana M. Landry
    June 25, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Made me cry….my daughter has Asperger’s. Rose just turned 11 yesterday and she struggles with so many facets of her life from when she was a little kindergartner to a middle school soon to be teen…My son Luke has high functioning Autism as well and severe developmental delays and many medical problems. I wish so much I knew what he was thinking…I read and read my Autism and other books and people tell me it seems that I know how he thinks…and I truly think I do sometimes…but I wish I really can know someday…thank you for sharing. I will keep this to remind me of the little things…especially when others fail to see them for the special little people they are and how much they have to offer this world. God bless!

  59. Jess
    June 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful poem. My 5 year old Autistic son is entering Kindergarten this Fall. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. In Pre-school we have already experienced him not being included in birthday parties from children in his class. Although he has no idea, it breaks my heart. He is so very friendly and starting to talk more. He loves his peers…..I think sometimes that the parents of children without “disabilities”, are afraid of the “different” children. That they don’t know how to respond to kids with special needs. I have learned so much from having an Autistic son. It has given me so much compassion for parents who have children with special needs. It has given me so much compassion for the children with special needs. I am not afraid. I embrace the “different”. My Autistic son is like a full moon on a dark night. He lights up the world!!! I love him sooooo much and he has taught me so much. Again thank you for sharing your heart with us. Love to you!!! God bless you. :)

  60. jill brink
    June 25, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Wow, Your poem was great. My son is entering kindergarten this fall and I often wonder what it will be like for him. He has PDD-NOS as well. He started becoming more social with the kids in Pre-K toward the end of the school year hopefully it will continue. As a mom it breaks your heart to see anyone go through anything rough but it is also part of life. Good luck.

  61. pam
    June 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    That is wonderfull! Thank you!

  62. Patricia
    June 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Thank you from another mom of an Autistic son who is in Kindergarten and noticing that the kids are making fun of him and he is different. He gets so angry and frustrated about the other kids. He too is way ahead academically, its the language and social skills that gets in his way. I have high hopes he will succeed and you are an inspiration! High five to you.

  63. susan
    June 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    You are amazing!I have a 5 year old son with pdd/nos and i believe he feels the same way.So,this poem has touched my heart and filled me with hope.You are all so beautiful and special in so many different ways.

  64. Kayla
    June 26, 2010 at 12:50 am

    That was a wonderful poem! Thank you for sharing it!

  65. Jessy
    June 26, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Awesome! Loved that last line!

  66. Wendy Korzelius
    June 26, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Thank you Cassie for sharing from a mom of someone just as wonderful as you. You are to be loved, blessed and appreciated. You go girl.

  67. Veronica Parra
    June 26, 2010 at 2:20 am

    You are a beutiful person. Thank you for such a wonderfull poem. I am the mother of Autistic Identical Twin Boys, who are the apples of my eyes. I hear your struggles, and I hear the same from my angels. They are always telling me that no one wants to play with them. They feel that they are loosers, and not very smart like the other children. Please keep on writing it gives hope. May I use your poem to pass out in the school that my children attend?

    • Cassie Madison
      June 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

      By all means, use it if you would like to. But tell your sons that they are most certainly not losers, and are probably smarter than the other children. They’ll find friends eventually. Took me fifteen years (I’m a junior in high school now) but I found my place. Good luck to you and your boys.


  68. June 26, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I am a grandmother of an autistic child, and a school teacher. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless.

  69. June 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

    My Granddaughter has autism, she is three and rarely speaks more than a word here and there. That’s okay with me! She is a ray of sunshine in my life. I constantly look for posts from other girls on the spectrum just to get to know her better. Sounds crazy, but it helps me to better understand. Thank you so much for sharing this poem. You are awesome! Keep writing!

  70. June 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    What a way to express feelings imprisoned by nature.I am reminded of a poem I read in a library in a book about Autism- author name not noted:

    The Autistic Child

    My mind is a blank
    My head is a whirl
    My thoughts are all jumbled
    My speech is all mumbled

    I don’t know my mother
    I don’t know my father
    It is very frustrating
    My brain is not relating

    I often feel angry
    I often feel violent
    I do things so bad
    It makes people sad

    Please can you help me
    I’m not a bad person
    I need all your kindness
    I’m not really mindless

    • Greg Hunt
      June 26, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      I’m not really sure what to think about this post. I really believe that the original poem that these posts refer to is beautiful and a wonderful insight for those of us that do or do not have someone we love that is somewhere on the spectrum. However, I really feel that the poem posted by b sriram is really somewhat misleading and unfair to the majority of those on the spectrum. The use of words such as ‘mindless’ and the references to ‘not knowing my mother or father’ does a grave disservice to those that deal with autism on a daily basis. I have a hard time believing that this poem was written by anyone on the spectrum, or by anyone even familiar with someone on the spectrum. My son Samuel is autistic, and I don’t feel that this poem does any justice to the light, hope and perseverance that are a credit to those who deal with autism each day. I truly hope that no one reads this post and feels as if this is a testament to how those affected truly feel about themselves. Kind of a rant, I know, but our autistic children deal with the harsh reality of their condition each day without having to read such a negative observation….Thank you again, Cassie Madison, for your wonderful poem. As to the post above, I know that my son’s mind is not blank, and he does not feel that he is mindless…

      • Kelly Long
        July 2, 2010 at 11:11 am

        Cassie’s poem could have been written by my almost 15 year old son Bradley. Bradley has aspergers syndrome, speach and language delays, ADD and LD. So many times he sits on the sidelines, watching kids. For many years, I thought that he preferred to be on the outside looking in. He never let on that he wanted to be in the middle of the group. He had such a horrible expirence in 7th grade that I removed him from the school and taught him at home for 8th grade. He’s overcome much of what the last year in school did to him. But even now, when we go to the public pool to swim and he sees kids that he once knew, they shun him. Oh, he tries to stick it out. When they leave him behind, he trails trying again to be one of them. It rips my heart out. It was almost easier when he was little and I could scold the other children for treating him poorly. I could go to their parents and explain Bradley’s differences with them. But now that he is a teenager, I can’t do that any longer. I have to try and let him find his way in the sea of kids, searching for one good friend.

        I was offended by the poem published about by B Sriram! Even when Bradley wasn’t verbal, his mind was full of knowlegde, love and emotions. I think by referring to autistic persons as mindless and catagorizing them as not knowing their mother or father you are painting autism in the bad light that as parents we are stuggling so hard to remove.

  71. donna
    June 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    As I read this story,it reminded me that people in the world dont look at these special kids and young people as normal..My son is normal,to us….He has Autism,OCD,PTSD.I loved this poem.What a talented young lady you are..

  72. jeanie marques
    June 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I am sitting reading these words from a very courageous young lady and my heart and eyes are crying. My beautiful, smart, and talented 5 yr old granddaughter also has autism and I am heartsick of what she may encounter in the future from all of the oafs in this world. I do despise those folks who look at her, expecting one thing, and when they do not get it from her shake their heads and ignore her. How can they know that as a 2 yr old she could sing over 25 nursery rhymes and could count up to 25, without prompting on both? How can they know how brilliant a conversationalist she is now, which is a lot more than I can say for many people I know? As a former teacher of 29 yrs, I have come across thousands of children with all kind of abilities. Kudos to you Cassie!!! I am so very proud of you for your achievements and know that in my heart of hearts, my granddaughter too will overcome this and triumph. Good luck in the future which I know will be bright!!! Thank you so very much for sharing. You are a great inspiration to all children and adults also!!!

  73. Lynnzgill
    June 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I am a proud mother of a seven yr old boy diagnosed pdd-nos, who had these same challenges in kindergarten and still continues to now as he gets ready 4 third grade. He comes home sad bc the children wont play with him and more recently have began to bully him. I realize even more that it my job to remind him everyday that he is a special kid that is just as good as everyone and that he should be proud of himself and who he is. although ur poem did bring tears to my eyes, it also inspired me.

  74. Lynnzgill
    June 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    you are an awesome kid and u added to the hope I have that my son will accomplish any challenges that come his way…Thank you for sharing u poem :)

  75. lydia
    June 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    that was so touching. I have seen my grandaughter in the same situation so may times.

  76. Ellen
    June 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing your poem. I am a preschool special education teacher and some of my students have autism. Many of them are nonverbal and it is very difficult to know what they are thinking. You should be very proud of your accomplishments and perseverance, even though you may be seen as “different.” Good luck in school and with your writing.

  77. Kimberly
    June 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I know someone with a child that has autism and one that we think might have it. To me they need just as much love as any other child. People and other kids can be cruel just because they dont understand autism. Lets all love all children and be good to one another by helping our precious children. GOD loves us all no matter how we are made, our color, or size or age.

  78. Mi-Mi to Child with PDD-NOS
    June 26, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I just want to say thanks. My grandson that lives with me will be starting school next year and it really mean a lot to me to see what it may be like for him. It also gives me some hope.

  79. Corina
    June 27, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Wow! This poem brought to tears..my son has autism he is four years old. As I read this poem, I can see him standing watching the other children, wanting to play be he can’t communicate.

  80. Patty
    June 27, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Wow!This left me speechlees, cause finally someone let’s the world know how an Autistic child feels. I really liked it! This will touch many peoples life and people will have a different aspect of life itself!!! This was very BRAVE of you Cassie, to write this poem, I admire you! Take care and Smile always!!

  81. Lori
    June 27, 2010 at 8:39 am

    What an awesome poem! My son is 5 and starting kindergarten this fall. I often try to see the world from his eyes & sometimes its very hard to take. You and a few other stories I have seen recently are giving me hope for my son. Keep up the awesome work and I hope you have a wonderful life! Thank you for sharing.

  82. Klarissa
    June 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Very beautiful poem. My daughter just got diagnosed in May, 2010. So we are just learning about everything and having these sites and pages on facebook really do help that knowing we are not the only ones going thru these things. And tha is really is hope for her and us to get thru this with the support of others and most of all, the support of Christ.
    Thank you for sharing :)

  83. Catherine Kenney
    June 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Hello, Cassie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your poem with all of us. You have the courage that distinguishes the real writer; keep it up! And remember always that you are a person with pdd-nos, just as you are a person with talent. Always a person first, no matter what anyone thinks. I hope you have grown to think that you wouldn’t be any other way, since so much that is beautiful about you as an individual comes from your autism. God bless you and much good fortune and happiness in the future.

  84. Donna Rillera
    June 28, 2010 at 3:10 am

    It touched my heart. I suddenly miss Miguel.

  85. June 28, 2010 at 9:59 am

    That was truly moving. My son Shawn is almost 15 and I know at times he feels the same. He doesn’t understand that he is different (special in my eye). I wish he could put his feelings down on paper like you any suggestions? Thanks

  86. Dawn
    July 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  87. CMCarter
    July 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Simply beautiful! Children with autism are amazing! Praying for the day when the world better understands the unique talents and gifts that have been bestowed upon children with autism and others with special needs!

  88. sue
    July 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Dear Cassie,

    You are a heroine with a tremendous gift. Please continue to write and to share your stories.

  89. Cat
    July 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    You have a gift..beyond special..now run with it, be the voice for all who can’t or that were always afraid to!

  90. Kim
    July 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Beautiful poem! My child will start kindergarten in 2011 and I worry how he will do and how others will treat him.

    Thanks for sharing this insight!

  91. Margaret Drugan
    July 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Cassie – You are a beautifully gifted poet and your writing brought tears to my eyes. I am a firm believer in appreciating and accepting the individuality of each person, disabled, or not. But being “different” in the eyes of others can be a huge advantage – after the disappointment, sadness and anger comes the acceptance of loving yourself just the way you are, no matter what. Drawing strength from your experiences has made you the exceptional person you are today. Two of my three children are each diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD, and PDD-NOS with Anxiety and Sensory Processing Disorder. My 7-year-old daughter, with PDD-NOS, etc., is beginning 1st grade in a new ASD program and is currently improving socially and behaviorally by leaps and bounds. I’m so proud of all of her efforts! Your poem gives me insight into what her world must have been like as a preschooler/kindergartener and makes me feel even more happy for her recent successes. It is my hope that she, as well as my two other dhildren, will continue the momentum to be successful, independent, comfident and self-assured (especially in social relationships) just as you have. Best of luck in your future endeavors and thank you for sharing and opening this window into the world of autism for all who read this poem.

  92. Ashley Stroba
    July 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

    beautiful job, Cassie!

  93. August 24, 2010 at 8:58 am


    Thank you. Earlier this summer I read your poem and it has been an inspiration for me ever since. I believe I have sent this poem to everyone I know because, this is my biggest fear for my son. My son Chris who is 6 has PDDNOS and is entering K in Sept. I have a meeting at school today, with a copy of your poem. This is to help educate principals, teachers and other school staff on how our beautiful children can feel at such a young impressionable age! As I hold back tears today, and think of how courageous you were in Kindergarten, know that you will help make a difference in the lives of many Kindergarteners around this country this Sept. Thank you, thank you so much for this poem. THIS POEM WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  94. sharmainebowers@hotmail.com
    March 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Cassie this is beautiful. I have a son who also has PDD-NOS and it’s hard for him to “fit” in.He is now in Kinder, but he is in an all Autistic classroom. He has blossomed in this class but has a hard time with the kids outside of his class. This poem is like you have been watching my son since he was diagnosed. Thank You.

  1. June 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm

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