Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

A Poem By a Child With Aspergers

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Whether or not you have a child on the autism spectrum, this poem written by a 10-year-old with Aspergers is a must-read.

It gives those of us without autism a very rare opportunity to get inside the mind of someone who may experience the world differently than we do.

In case you’re not familiar, this is the definition of Aspergers syndrome as per AutismSpeaks.org.

Aspergers generally involves:

Difficulty with social interactions
Restricted interests
Desire for sameness
Distinctive strengths

Strengths can include:

Remarkable focus and persistence
Aptitude for recognizing patterns
Attention to detail

Challenges can include:

Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.)
Difficulty with the give and take of conversation
Difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.)
Uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness
Anxiety and depression

In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association “merged four distinct autism diagnoses into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.”

Now that you have at least a minimal understanding of what this kiddo lives with, you’ll have even more of an appreciation of his artful, heartfelt piece of poetry.

Boy with Aspergers Writes Poem for Homework, Perfectly Describes What It’s like to Live with Autism

The boy’s name is Benjamin and in 2016 he wrote this for school.  It’s titled I Am.

His Mom shared it with The National Autism Association and they published it on their Facebook page. 

He was given the first two words for each sentence. This is his poem.

I Am

A poem by Benjamin

I am odd, I am new.
I wonder if you are too
I hear voices in the air
I see you don’t and that’s not fair
I want to not feel blue

I am odd, I am new.
I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink

I am odd, I am new.
I understand now that so are you
I say I, “feel like a castaway”
I dream of a day that that’s okay
I try to fit in
I hope that someday I do
I am odd, I am new.

What do you think of Benjamin’s poem?

I’ve read it again and again and each time, it gives me something new to think about.

The truth is, the poem makes me feel in many ways very connected to this young man. I know he wrote it from a place of feeling so different, but doesn’t it speak to how we all feel at one time or another?

I’ve felt odd. I’ve felt like a castaway. I’ve tried and failed to fit in.

And laughed at? Oh goodness yes.

So, I’d like to say…

Dear Benjamin,

I love your poem. It makes me feel like you and I are similar. I feel just like you do sometimes.

But most of all, I want you to know that I think you’re very talented. I look forward to reading more poems that you write. Consider me one of your biggest fans.

You can find Benjamin’s Facebook page HERE.

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