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