Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Autism Night Before Christmas

After attending one of many family Christmas parties on Sunday, I thought the below appropriate to share. Bubba was overly excited, his one red ear glowing with Christmas cheer, sharing his Christmas ham with another kid's face. Moosie was like his momma and his lip quivered every time he was forced to enter the big room full of people. Ugh. People.

Boys in a "safe zone" with their cousin

Me in the corner

Boys doing their "Christmas poses"

I don't see eye to eye with everything alluded to in this poem, but there are quite a few lines that resonate with this here family with two boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. 'Tis true that my boys bring me great joy, but it's simply because they are wonderful exactly how they are (it's how the rest of word sees them that causes a stir).

Autism Night Before Christmas
by Cindy Waeltermann
(I couldn't get the original site to open up to link to the poem, so I am posting here for now.)

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don't understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.

"He needs discipline," they say
"Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent..."
And on goes the attack

We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it's like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions...

But what they don't know
And what they don't see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said "hello"
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty
Who cares if he's ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Others don't realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don't see
Is the joy we can't hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,

But what they don't know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don't get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings

Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don't get it
Or can't get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I'll assure you

That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You'll look at me
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you

That you won't say a thing
You'll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned.......


Casdok said...

Great poem!
Merry christmas!

Niksmom said...

Wishing you a Merry Christmas *devoid* of lots of people! LOL xoxo