Published with permission from the author, Louise Bond
Some children can say how they’re feeling
when they’re worried, anxious or scared
but others cannot find the words
leaving them frustrated and despaired.
These children are fighting battles
in their minds each and every day
battles some people don’t understand
and so choose to stay away.
Our son is battling with Autism
the days can be challenging and long
while we love him unconditionally
it’s sometimes hard to stay strong.
All his anger and frustrations
grow more violent through the years
as he struggles with a younger mind
than those of all his peers.
We feel the brunt of those frustrations
we can ache from limb to limb
but no matter how hard life gets for us
we know it’s so much harder for him.
For every child deserves to feel safe
but some of them feel scared
not understanding the world they see
and being constantly compared.
His sleep is filled with nightmares
when those at school are unkind
he wakes confused and angry
unable to free them from his mind.
Still every day we begin anew
holding hope deep in our hearts
that today will turn out differently
and his future can finally start.
Those days turn into weeks and months
with progress painfully slow
but no matter how small the step is
we celebrate with hearts aglow.
As we know how hard it was for him
just to make that step at all
not easy like some others find
but at a slow and anxious crawl.
As the parents of an Autistic child
we have much worry and stress
we need our family and friends support
but sadly feel isolation and loneliness.
Though his unexpected smile or hug
will more than make our day
it’s those extra special moments
that help ease the pain away.
His heart is full of goodness
his smile brings us so much joy
we only wish the world could see
the way we see our amazing boy.
As some are quick to blame the parents
and think that Autism doesn’t exist
saying it’s all down to discipline
that’s lacking or being missed.
To all those people both near and far
I want to simply say
before you judge our family
please, come and live our day.
We did not make this happen
in all honesty, who would?
But this is our life and reality
and it’s time it was understood.
It hurts to see him suffering
knowing we cannot take it away
that it will never be grown out of
that Autism is here to stay.
All our hopes and dreams for him
for the life we thought he’d lead
are now cloudy and uncertain
but together we will succeed.
Still we worry about his future
praying that our lives are long
Who will love and look after him?
What will happen when we’re gone?
These thoughts stay with us every day
and haunt our minds at night
when the darkness make fears stronger
and the worries hard to fight.
But we must not hide ourselves away
for his sisters sake and ours
but as sensory overload gets too much
his behaviour quickly sours.
So when you see a shouting child
and look on with a scowl
remember, they may not be spoilt or naughty
but feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
You cannot see inside their minds
or through their frantic eyes
you do not know what panicked them
you only hear their cries.
So please don’t stand and stare or point
at families struggling on each day
some acceptance and understanding
will go a long, long way.