Autistic People Like Me

I thought as it is Autism Awareness Month, I would share with you a poem written by one of my autistic daughters. All my children exhibit high anxiety (as is common in autism), but I think this poem highlights the level to which their anxiety impacts them on a daily basis.

  Autistic people like me
A poem by Angel Wood (aged 14)
It’s morning, you roll over in bed
You remember yesterday’s meltdown
You must be hated now
But how?
You were just finding everything too much
You go down stairs, eat breakfast, get dressed then brush your teeth
That’s what you do every morning
There’s no other way and that’s a warning
Routine is routine, its what helps you get through the day
You get in the car and begin the journey to school
You keep your cool the whole way

Finally, you arrive
You think to yourself keep calm and maybe you’ll thrive
You hug goodbye to your mum
You’re stuck to her like gum
The teacher comes you must go
You are happy though
You get to the class
It’s scary there are so many students
You sit down
Only to frown
This is not your chair
It feels different, you give it a stare
Definitely not your seat
You tell the teacher
She finds you another chair
This one feels better
You give it a clean and sit down
You look at the timetable but hold on
They changed it
The teacher tells you it will only be for a bit
You think to yourself how could this be? You wonder, why isn’t the world built for autistic people like me?

Lesson time now
You listen as hard as you can, but it doesn’t make sense
You are feeling tense
No matter what, you just don’t understand
It feels like the words are sinking in quick sand
The teacher gets mad
It makes you sad
Can’t she see you are trying your best?
You feel dizzy, so you put your head on the table and rest
The teacher tells you to work
You try but just can’t
You think to yourself is this how the day is going to be? You wonder, why isn’t the world built for autistic people like me?

Break time
There are no people you can be around
So, you spend this time to sit on the ground
No one wants to be with the silent one
But can’t they see that would be lots of fun?
Finally, the torture is done
You run back into class
Maths time
It’s your favourite lesson because you can see patterns in your head
Suddenly the words you hate hearing are said
You must find a partner
You sit at your table ready to get picked
But no one asks you
The teacher pairs you with the only kid left
You get ready to learn
The other kid does a moan
He doesn’t think you are smart enough based on your quiet tone
Most of the lesson you get pushed to the side
You almost cried
You think to yourself why is this the way things must be? You wonder, why isn’t the world built for autistic people like me?

Lunch time
You don’t eat much because it seems like everyone is staring at you
It makes you feel blue
In the playground no one approaches you as you’re just the weird kid
Lesson time once again
But wait! Oh no it’s art
Art is messy
You hate mess
You go ahead and copy what is on the board
The teacher looks at your work
She tells you that it’s wrong
She gives you another sheet and throws the other in the bin
But you are not going to let her win
You are so mad
You are just trying your best, are you really that bad?
You rip up the new sheet and throw it in her face
The other kids laugh
You tell them to shut it
The teacher tells you to sit
You put your head down and ignore the outer world
You think what am I going to grow up to be? You wonder, why isn’t the world built for autistic people like me?

At last it is home time
You rush out to see your mum
The teacher talks about your day to her
You feel like a failure
When you’re at home you sit in your safe place
You think about all sorts
Because in your mind everything is how you want it
In your world everyone is happy
No one is snappy
It’s bed time
You lie in bed
So many thoughts go through your head
You think is this really how life is going to be? You wonder, why isn’t the world built for autistic people like me?
 

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