Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Autism Night Before Christmas

This poem was written in 2008 by Cindy Waeltermann, who is the founder of the organization Autism LinkI just discovered it today on facebook...Though many of you might like it...

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 she gets
Just from flapping her hands.

“They need 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”

She ate something green!
He told his first lie!
She did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty

Who cares if he’s ten,
She 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……