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"I Am Special Just Like You," an autism acceptance poem

The post below is by grandma Jackie Bielinski. 

I am simply known as Nana to my grandchildren.  My five year old grandson, Maxwell Harrison, is on the autism spectrum.  I wrote "I AM SPECIAL JUST LIKE YOU" for Max and describe how he might feel about some of the symptoms he experiences.  I hope my words provide some insight in describing how other Autistic children deal with their daily life. Thank you to my daughter-in-law Angel Bielinski for her creative illustrations and her Super Mom dedication.

I am special just like you
I can take the things I do
And learn from them the best I can
Make a difference with who I am
You might be slow and I might be fast
We don’t need to measure who is first or last
You might be smart and I may be not
So who cares about that we still have a lot
To share and to grow together we’ll be
Friends to the end just you wait and see

I keep to myself quiet as a mouse
Quiet is good in this very big house
The noise the noise that gets too loud
If we’re shopping or in a big crowd
It can come from the tv or radio music
Whatever it is I can easily lose it
It bothers me everywhere and starts to hurt
In my ears and my head and I’m just not sure
How to stop it but wish I could figure it out
What is this terrible noise all about

I am a happy kid most of the time
And smile at everyone I can find
If I don’t understand I easily cry
Wish I could tell you I just don’t know why
Sometimes when you speak
I’m not sure what you say
If you’re sad or you’re hurt
I might not hear it that way
I like it when things are always the same
Like my food and toys and my video games

I walk on my toes and twirl round and round
It makes me feel better and helps me calm down
When you listen to a sound that you don’t want to hear
You can take your own hands and cover your ears
If I were a turtle I could move my head fast
Back into my shell where it’s quiet at last
Sometimes when we talk I don’t look in your eyes
I might just forget so don’t be surprised
If I don’t speak at all let’s try to wait
There are other ways we can communicate

It’s hard to sit still when I want to play
I start moving around in my own special way
When I get excited I can keep myself busy
By jumping and spinning even though I get dizzy
I can play with my hands and fingers all over
It’s just what I do no need to take cover
When I’m finally tired I do realize
It’s the end of today and can just close my eyes

Things don’t look the same to you and me
Where I see a forest you see a tree
I hear the wind blowing strong in the sky
You hear a breeze as it softly goes by
My smell and my taste are different than yours
So many choices thank goodness of course
There’s really a lot to say about touch
Sometimes even my clothes feel too much
If I think the light is shining too bright
Or even if the noise isn’t right
If it smells awful and tastes bad
And anything touching makes me mad
It’s a terrible time for you and me
But it passes so quickly and soon we will see
That it’s over and done with and better at last
It was just a quick moment now gone in the past

Say what you say easy and clear
I only understand exactly what I hear
If I can’t find the right words to answer you
Watch me carefully look at what I do
When all those words get in the way
I learn best when I see it every day
Be patient with me it does take me time
Show me again and again until my mind
Can figure it out so I can tell
That I learned what I needed and remember it well
As I grow bigger and stronger each day
I hope I can find an easier way
To say what I think and think what I feel
How great that would be a really big deal

I can do better when you think that I can
Remember to show me and show me again
I know that you love me so love me through this
I do my best and don’t need to be fixed
Help me and teach me it’s simple as that
I need you I love you matter of fact
If I can’t tell you exactly how I feel
Or act out in a way that seems unreal
You’re everything I count on every day
Do accept me and cherish my own special way.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.