We try so hard to fall within the norms of expectation, yet we admire those who step outside the square box constructed by society. Why is it, that if we are born adjacent to what is deemed “typical”, we cop the label of “special needs,” while receiving a caricatured diagnosis. A diagnosis is important when considering trajectories and treatments, however it is not an identity and it is not a box that is sealed. The difficulties experienced in education by children born “atypical” are often a product of the way in which kids are taught. Why cant strengths based not society based be the foundation for all learning?
At what age does a child born as “atypical” become an eccentric visionary? These questions are what I ponder when I see a child skipping school. These thoughts strike me as children scream, not from being misheard, but from being misunderstood.
This blog comes in light of blue. World Autism month is a platform for voices to be heard while mainstream society is listening. Sing with and for your children.
Parents, this post is for you. The unrelenting journey for the world to see your child just as you do. The perpetual fight for society to accept your child for who they are and what they can do. The tireless journey, not to cure a “disability” but for your child to have every chance to follow their dreams, while harnessing their unique visions and unmatched thinking.
This is a poem that represents a small facet of what I see on a daily basis. This is Tommy! He is passionate, generous, assertive, happy and enigmatic. He loves singing, he loves his brothers, and due to the tenacity and ferocity of his parents fight, he says the words “I am hugging you, because I love you.” Let’s describe our children by who they are, what they love, and how they dream.
You see a boy named Tommy, staring off in space
Screaming out for ice cream, while fighting dad’s embrace
You judge because you deem him, just a spoilt boy
Yearning for a tasty treat, with screaming just a ploy
You cross his path again, toes tapping on a train
The blues tapped from shoes, yield fury unrestrained
You address a fumbling father, “Please stop that tapping beat”
“Please control your untrained child, constrain those tapping feet”
You see Tommy in the bathrooms, screaming without need
A hand dryer humming, not enough for his stampede
A flush accelerates the fury, and a head hits tiled floor
You judge the mother harshly, for not attempting to do more
Next you then hear Tommy, sits in class next to your son
You hear how he distracts, “how did he make grade one?”
You march up to the teacher as Tommy hurts your child
His “naughtiness” is spreading, “I bet ADD is on his file?”
You’re the mother of a boy, who in class has ease to learn
Who plays with friends and talks to you, affection your son yearns
You’re a mother of a child, who can look you in the eye
Who can understand that sadness is the product of a cry
You’re the mother of a child, that points and talks and feels
Who plays alongside peers, without his fingers spinning wheels
You’re the mother of a child, who can be taught by standard
A gift at birth is what you were naturally just handed
You judge the mother fighting to give her son a chance
To give the gift of love through a mothers fighting stance
You judge a fathers presence, his unrelenting fight
Short fused within the day, in wake of sleepless nights
Did you know their son was labeled, at the age of three?
A doctor points Autistic, “Your son is special needs!”
“Let’s see how he progresses, but this is not a passing trait
Just wait until his four, yet, these features won’t abate”
A Doctor’s words not worthy, to halt a parent’s sense
More opinions sought, for sake of sitting on the fence
Tommy’s now age eight, and your asking yourself why
Why that little “impaired” boy, can look you in the eye?
Why that boy who couldn’t share, now passes pencils to a friend?
His eccentricities a quirk, not a trait that will “offend”
The reason is his parents, who played across the field
An obsession for progression, for a son whose fates not sealed
A boy who did progress and at eight he met his peers
The parents void of guilt from those sleepless past eight years
An unyielding love unites, for deployment of their schemes
To give their little boy, a life to realize dreams
A ferociously unrelenting, journey for a son
Tattles on a Doctors words, trajectories undone
A swing within a bedroom, a cushion on every seat
Absurdities attempted, just to see him eat
Therapy each day, becomes routine within the home
Parents teaching siblings to impart a calming tone
Tears of joy when eye meets eye, when hands unclench those ears
Happiness when Tommy plays with more than just those gears
We are not aiming for a cure, or to cookie cut a mind
Autism is diversity and hints to progression of mankind
We need to start to love their loves, and engage within their sphere
Autisms eclectic not defective, so let’s not compare with peers