Monday, October 6, 2014

Autism Defined: A Poem

This is autism.
A world where we are defined as a list of "deficits" and "problems" needing to be overcome. 
This is autism.
A world where our killers can be showered with sympathy and compassion for having had to endure a life with us. 
This is autism. 
Incessant fatigue created by having to navigate societies not designed for us, not respectful of us, not accepting of us.
This is autism.
Being misunderstood. Being judged. Being discriminated against. Being manipulated. 
But this is also autism:
Learning to cope. Learning to stand. Learning to embrace oneself. Learning to live. 
This is autism. 
Originality. Uniqueness.  Sensitivity. Detail. Tenacity. Courage. Truth. 
This is autism. 
Being human. Being accepted. Being loved. Being free.
This is autism. 
A growing community.  Hope. Change. Faith. Surrounded by the love and support that strengthens us.
This is autism.  
The word that allowed me to finally understand my children.  
Finally understand my mother.  Finally understand myself.
Finally know myself.
This is autism.
Understanding.
This is autism.
Resilience.
This is autism.
Survival.
This is autism.
Purpose.
This is autism.
Future.
This is autism.
Acceptance.
This is autism.
It is me.
It is you.
It is us.
This is autism.

Copyright 2014 by M. Giwa Onaiwu

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