To mark World Autism Awareness Day I decided to write a poem.
I have written it from my experience of the way people who are not aware of what it means to be autistic have behaved towards John.
I need to help you to understand
not to stand and laugh and stare
when you see me screaming
and pulling out my hair.
Don’t make nasty comments
if I jump and slap my head
Don’t point or turn your back on me
smile at me instead.
My world is a scary place
I don’t see things as you do
I have hyper sensitive hearing
and fragmented vision too.
I need to clap and flap my hands
and rock and shout and spin
It helps to keep me calm and safe
from the anxiety within.
I need compulsions and obsessions
of spinning twirly things,
of bridges, pylons, ferry boats
and anything that swings.
I need space and time and patience
support and loving care
but the most important need of all
is that you are Autism Aware.
I wrote this from my experience of people not understanding John’s behaviour, this is the side of autism that most people know about.
What people don’t realise is that every person affected by the condition are as different as you and I.
No two peoples needs are the same.
As are ours.
And every family with an autistic member copes with their challenges in their own way.
As does mine.
Autistic people are…….
Funny, temperamental, emotional and occasionally sad.
Just like you and I.
They love to express themselves through drama, dance and through painting and drawing.
Just like many of us do.
They are accomplished musicians, singers and composers.
Often better than we are.
They go to work, both professionally and as volunteers.
Just like most of the population.
We all occupy a space on this earth and we each have a role to play.