"The Misunderstood Child" - Poem by Kathy Winters
I am the child that looks healthy and fine, I was born with ten fingers and toes.
But something is different, somewhere in my mind - and what it is, nobody knows.
I am the child who struggles in school, though they say I'm perfectly smart.
They tell me I'm lazy - can learn if I try - but I don't seem to know where to start.
I am the child that won't wear the clothes, which hurt me or bother my feet.
I dread sudden noises, can't handle most smells, and tastes - there are few foods I'll eat.
I am the child that can't catch the ball, and runs with an awkward gait.
I am the one chosen last on the team, and cringe as I stand there and wait.
I am the child with whom no one will play - the one that gets bullied and teased.
I try to fit in and I want to be liked, but nothing I do seems to please.
I am the child that tantrums and freaks, over things that seem petty and trite.
You'll never know how I panic inside, when I'm lost in my anger and fright.
I am the child that fidgets and squirms, though I'm told to sit still and be good
Do you think that I choose to be out of control? Do you think that I would if I could?
I am the child with the broken heart, though I act like I really don't care.
Perhaps there is a reason God made me this way - some message he sent me to share.
For I am the child that needs to be loved and accepted and valued too. I am the child that is misunderstood,
I am different - but look just like you.
By Kathy Winters - 2003
Mother of a Child who has Autism