I Am Autistic. So What?

No one sees me for who I am.
03/29/2017 10:52 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2017

For my English class, I recently wrote a poem about my autism as part of a Slam Poetry unit. I am sharing this in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd.

Special

I’m a special flower.

People always tell me that.

“You’re special.”

“How… special.”

Special is a knife that cuts down to the marrow of my bones.

Special is not good.

Special is different.

Different is bad.

When I tell people I’m on the spectrum, I become a mind reader.

I read their thoughts like a horror novel.

They’re thinking the same things as everyone else:

I’m mingling with a monster.

I’m friends with a freak.

I know a special person.

You’re not like me.

You’re different.

You’re bad.

Their words are daggers to my heart

Bullets to my soul

Their thoughts hurt me.

I cry from their explosive landings in my mind and on my heart.

No one sees me for who I am.

They don’t see me for my accomplishments or my personality.

To them, I am my autism.

I’m autistic.

I get a different perspective on the world,

But I can’t share it.

That makes me feel alone

Like I have no one to talk to

No shoulder to cry on

Nothing

I’m autistic.

That doesn’t make me less.

Less human

Less deserving of respect

Less intelligent

Less feeling

Less hurt by your words

I am autistic

But I am real

I’m not a character

I’m not a superhero

I’m just me,

A real, human autistic boy

I don’t need your pity

I don’t need your validation

I need what everyone needs

Food

Water

Shelter

Respect

A chance

Friends

Family

Love

Dignity

Humanity

I’m not normal.

That’s okay.

You won’t hurt me again.

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