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From Prayer to Poem

One of the many Autistic students I've worked with over the years inspired me to write this poem after he was interrupted with a question while saying a lunchtime prayer:

"Putting God On Hold"

They're just a bunch of young kids

Working hard to get by ---

Even though they are diff'rent,

They still struggle to try . . . .

Too often they're treated

As "lepers" or "pets",

But they're God's "Special Children" . . .

On that you can lay bets!

There's Sara and Sierra

And sweet, smilin' Tony ---

Orion and Anthony F

And Anthony G ---

There's Victoria and Marc

And loud, clappin' Lauren ---

There's Eddie and there's Jordan

Making sounds quite "foreign" ---

There's Andrew and Ruben To-Le-do,

The tallest pair ---

And finally, there's Garrett

Who seems always in Prayer.

What does he pray for,

This boy so serious and bold . . .

Who, when he's interrupted,

Will just put God "On Hold"? ! ?

"Wait just a minute, "

He has been heard to say,

"I'll deal with this problem

And then continue to pray . . . ."

Many of us are guilty

Of telling God to "wait" ---

Too busy with our own lives,

We tempt "The Hand of Fate"!

We could all learn a good lesson

From this "Special" group.

We think we're "cool" and "mellow",

But have we heard the "Scoop"? ! ?

God knows whose hearts are pure

And whose thoughts are innocent . . .

He knows who to smile on,

And He knows where Harm was meant.

And He sent these "Special" children

As a little test . . .

So we could learn Compassion

And work to do our best.

So, let's try not to Fail;

Let's just do as we are told . . . .

We'll strive to be better

And stop putting God "On Hold"!

Jean Hamilton
Fairfield, CA

I was diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 8; I'm 19 now. I've always kept my condition a secret; I never told my High School.

As a kid I loved animals, and kids and being able to help at school but if something bothered me I would throw a tantrum. At teacher/parent interviews when i was in grade 3, the teacher informed my mum she wanted to slap me.

I misbehaved a lot in primary school, had a lot of fights with people and even got expelled from 2 different vacation cares.

But also in primary school, in grade 5 or 6, I looked after a little boy who had autism. He was in prep. I was his "buddy" and would take him to chapel every tuesday and I remember him always wearing big ear muff things so he couldnt hear the music; he was very sweet and I started to sit with him at lunch too, the teachers would call me out of class if they needed help with him.

I moved states when I finished grade 7 and so I started high school in grade 8 at a new school where everyone already had friends; I didn't fit in. I hated my new school, I got in trouble a lot.

I wanted to drop out but I got my HSC in 2012, and now im a nanny, but ive applied to be a councillor at a special needs summer camp in america next year; I want to work with children who have autism so they know they can finish school, have great friends & relationships just like I did. I want to be a mentor and a friend and just someone to listen. Besides the tantrums and fights, i had a great childhood, and i made school fun with the help of my friends and I loved life. I am still shy and I have a lot of communication problems, I can't talk in big groups where everyone is looking at me, I struggle to make eye contact, and I have anxiety which makes me nervous to go anywhere by myself or to talk to strangers and meet new people but I am working through them every day as best as I can.

Anonymous
-, Australia

My "Weird" Son

My name is Andrea and my son Matthew (age 5), has autism spectrum disorder formally known as Aspergers. He also has ADHD.

I got pregnant with Matthew at the young age of 16. He was a healthy baby boy, small but healthy. As he started to get closer to one, I began to realize that he wasn't reaching milestones as fast as the kids at his daycare. Matthew is very repetitive. I would take him to parks and wonder why he would only go up and down the stairs. Over and over again. I also started to notice whenever Matthew got excited he would shake his hands in a way I've never seen. He would act out in weird ways towards other kids, sometimes being aggressive. And instead of a blankie, Matthew simply wanted a clothes hanger, which he would spin and spin, like a steering wheel until he went to sleep. My grandmother, who worked with the school district, got him enrolled into early headstart when he was one. The more the teacher would come to the house for his appointments, the more she was also convinced something wasn't right. That's when we decided to call in AEA. We went through all the appointments with them and a few tests but they wouldn't diagnose him because they weren't doctors. They did say that he learned like a kid with autism and showed many characteristics of kids with autism. When he went to pre-k, he was put in a special classroom. There he would see occupational therapists and the school psychologist, who would help him find ways to manage his outbursts. That same year we finally were able to see a doctor and get a diagnosis. He's been on meds since.

Its hard to explain to people who don't have a kid with autism why my kid acts the way he acts. He has been left out, and called weird but he's still so loving and friendly. He's a special boy, I've never met anyone like him, but that's what makes Matthew, Matthew. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Andrea
Sioux City, IA

We have Hope

My daughter is a twin. They were born at 38 weeks and spent no time in the nicu. Hope hit her milestones before her sister. At about 15 months she regressed. She stopped saying the words she had once said and she still wasn't walking or crawling. At her pediatrician appointment, I had brought up my concerns and she has been in early intervention ever since. About 2 months ago she was officially diagnosed with ASD. I cried and cried not knowing what to do. I had felt guilt like it was all my fault. I came to realize it wasn't. I feel there is a huge reason why we named her Hope and not her twin sister. I have so much Hope for her future. I hope that one day she can tell me that she loves me. She is such a happy, vibrant, energetic little girl.

Stephanie
Bellport, NY

My Matthew Jay Story

My Matty as I call him is my second child, he was born via an emergency c-section at 41 weeks. At around 7 months I started to notice how he never responded to his name but figure he's just a boy and are usually a little slower than girls, around the age of 1.5 I started having concerns about his speech I was told that maybe he should interact with other children and be a sponge and absorb others children speech. He was finally diagnose with autism at age 3 and it's been a roller coster for us, I have learn and I'm still learning so much from him he has started school and I have seen such an improvement, I no longer fear the future or cry about my son having autism he's special to me and I wouldn't change him for the world but I would try to change the world for him as a Hispanic many in our culture don't understand what autism is,we must educate those who don't understand it in order to have acceptance. One last thing I would like to share that my Matty melts my heart on a daily basis.

Janet
Walnut Park, CA

making difference with music

hello everyone,my name is phillip.c. i was diagnosed when i was 9 yrs old with mild autism. in school gotten bullied a lot,teased for being different. my family is musically inclined,when i was 10 years old saw rush on stage i knew wanted to be like them. i play bass,drums,guitar,paino,keyboard,just can't sing lol. for 2 decades i didn't know i had autism until 2014 found out i have mild autism,pku,i am content with myself with having mild autism,pku. in 2009 starting writing my own original music,which is dj arksigo. now i am involved with autism awareness in our community kennewick area. my goal is to show everyone that if they believe in themselves that their goals,dreams can come real in there life,it isn't about me its about everyone,everyone shines. also seeing that making difference in our community has made me happy seeing everyone else happy,truly is great feeling. lot of time i would feel alone or not cool enough to be excepted now have better out look on life. have made lot of new friends this year. yes i am single,believe somewhere out there she is out their,know she is. ever since have found out the truth about having autism,pku my life has took change but better change. i encourage everyone who has autism to go after your dreams,you are passionate about, never give up on yourself do what it takes until you reach your goal,dreams. like to thank autism page for letting me tell my story to you.

phillip
kennewick, WA

Medical Miracle

My name is Aaron and I am 18 years old. I was born on November 27, 1995, but the thing is, I wasn't supposed to be born until March 1996. I was born 3 & 1/2 months early.

I was tiny, I only weighed 899 grams and was just about 12 inches long. My mom says my eyes were sealed shut like a kittens, and my skin was translucent.I didn't even have eye lashes yet.

I have limited depth perception, no peripheral vision, reactive airways, Asperger's, scoliosis, and cerebral palsy. Currently I am in a school for job training and when I go to college I hope to get a career in broadcast journalism .For anyone struggling with a Asperger's Syndrome or Autism diagnosis I feel bad for you, but remember to be able to get through life you have to work towards the type of career you want, decide if you want a special someone in your life or not, and stay strong even when your life seems like hell to you. As long you stay strong your life will turn around .I hope my story inspired you to stay strong and get through life.

Aaron Kalinowski
Shamokin, PA

You Do Not Always Know

My name is Eric Milton, & I have Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorder, & auditory processing disorder. When I was flying home to the United States from Israel back in April 2014, the flight attendant asked about my breakfast drink. I said, "What was that?" She then repeated, and again two times I asked for repetition. She thought I was pranking her, and she showed it clearly. That is when my mother said, "Uh, he has an auditory processing disorder." The flight attendant apologized saying, "I am sorry" and "I thought that he was only kidding." My point that I am making is do not assume I am not autistic, but do not assume that I am either. It is not always obvious.

Eric Milton Hammond
Tappahannock, VA

Lucas is flying high

Hi there I would love you all to meet Lucas,,,, he is 8 years old and has autism,,, he is obsessed with airplanes,,, his life and our life revolves around airplanes,,,Lucas has taught himself the airline safety demonstration word for word with all the actions,,,, he has done this by watching a you tube clip and is very inspiring,,,, as most of you know these special people when they get fixated on something they just keep going and going,, Lucas kept asking me for a airline name badge (with his name on it) we have never asked for help during our roller coaster of therapies and thought why not you never know till you ask,, I sent Virgin a email and they went above and beyond to make Lucas dream come true,,,,, it is a very inspiring story not only that a big corporation made lucas dream come true but to see Lucas standing and speaking so confidently is very inspiring considering he was non verbal,,, I would love for this to give hope and strength to those newly diagnosed families of children with autism and remember you are not on your own,,,,,,, i have attached the you tube clip so you can all see Lucas

http://youtu.be/t7KwyzB6VRE

catherine
Yandina, Australia

Adam Matthew

This is my son Adam. He was born on his due date at a healthy 8 lb 2 oz, although from there he was in the hospital for a week due to irregular breathing & jaundice. He was a very active baby, constantly awake but not fussy, he just seemed interested in everything going on in the world around him. He was an early crawler & walker but behind in his speech. Looking back I suppose I thought something was different but it wasn’t until he was 4 & I knew he was going to start school that I decided to admit he may have Autism. Family members had suggested it a few times but I was in denial. It’s funny, I thought I was totally justified in wanting to protect my child because I thought having Autism meant something was “wrong” with him or that he would be ridiculed but it’s the total opposite! Adam is the sweetest, funniest & most loving child. Everyone thinks of him as just Adam, not Adam with Autism.

He plays every sport the boys & girls club offers, not because he is the best player but because he enjoys the socializing & I enjoy watching him learn to dribble a ball, run the bases & get excited when he pulls a flag. He is a great big brother, cousin & best friend. Sometimes I struggle with the reality that he may not get married or have children but when I look into his big brown eyes & he tells me he loves me it's all worth it. He has taught me patience, acceptance, perseverance, strength & unconditional love in his seven short years. Some days I just want to sleep & eat new things but I wouldn't trade this life for anything!

Victoria Cooper
Terre Haute, IN
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