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A poem to all of those who assume they know things about my son.
You assume he does not like loud noises
Well actually...not only do they not bother him, but he makes them quite often.
Yelling, screaming, singing, a cacophonic delight.
You assume he does not know others are in the room with him
Well actually...he knows they are there but just chooses not to interact.
Not knowing and not acknowledging are two very different things.
You assume he is incapable of love
Well actually...he is the most loving child I have ever known.
He hugs, he kisses, he says, "I love you." Beams with excitement when we see him after work.
You assume he lacks empathy for others
Well actually...I have seen him try to soothe crying babies.
"Happy, Happy," a polite little command to try and cheer them up.
You assume mindless perseveration when he watches the same movie clip over and over
Well actually...he is learning the words and absorbing the language.
Some time later he says the line in context.
You assume he is emotionless
Well actually... he is not
He is filled with emotions: happiness, anger, and sadness, and many others all appearing appropriately.
You assume so many things.
Well actually...assuming is wrong.
Like a fingerprint, like a snowflake, each autistic child is different and no two are alike.
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|Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart
|I love this poem and the obvious love and pride you have for your son.|
|Reviewed by Christine Tsen
|Beautiful poem. No one can say what the inner life is from outside, and you have brought this to awareness.
My own autistic child is the dearest, kindest and most sensitive soul I've ever known in many ways.
|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|Jerry is an insensitive jerk sometimes. Concentrating on his, not so stellar, life.
You've done a wonderful job of describing some of the characteristics of autism. It is only recently that I have become aware of autism and its many manifestations. Autism may have been around in my youth and working years, but I didn't see it. Now, autism seems to be everywhere. I recall an artist that I joined at the Abilities Expo a couple of years ago. His collages at a very young age have become famous and he has been featured with Cheech Marin at art shows. Unfortunately, when I approached him near his booth a year ago, he seemed to ignore me even though he should have known me well. I believe that it is just one of the characteristics you illustrated in your poem that I was experiencing.
Since then, my helper's brother and a former worker who was assigned to me may be autistic because of their behavior, some of which you describe so well.
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton
|I made a huge mistake when I commented on your poem, not reading it all and was very crude and hurtful in my thoughts. For that I apologize, and wish you and your son the best in life.|