Poem: Your Autistic kid is me

I wrote this poem last year and edited it to make it kinder in 2020. I talked about writing this poem on Yenn Purkis’s podcast. It is a rant from me, an Autistic adult, to parents about raising Autistic kids.

Your Autistic kid is me

Earplugs in,
Sunglasses on,
Looking down.

They need to see this.
These researchers,
These assessors.

I need low sound,
Low lights,
To absorb,
Without eye contact.

Just as I did as a kid.
Just as some adults around me.
Just like their clients.

I ask, tampering my rage,
Do you ever bring together
Mums of newly diagnosed kids,
With Autistic adults?
So they know that it’s not the end of the world?

So they know,
We can talk.
Like most of us.
We can lose our speech,
And regain it,
Years later.

We do express ourselves as kids.
We let you know what’s wrong.
If you know our needs,
Our messages,
Our body language,
Our wants.

Taking light bulbs out?
Leave the light off.
Panicking at leaving the house?
Leave them at home.
Non stop fighting?
Help them move out.

We can work,
With support.
Of course we bloody can.
Lose this high functioning crap.
We need understanding.

Let us wear sunnies.
Not just outside,
In the daylight.
When you need more light.
At night,
With street lamps and
Car headlights
Blinding us.
At school,
When our classroom
Is too bright.

Let us wear earmuffs.
Turn the bloody TV down.
The radio,
Your music.
We do our jobs well,
If you let us.
If you recognise our needs.
If you appreciate us.

If you see who we are,
Not your expectation.
Just listen.
Be present.
Pay attention.

Give us what we need,
And we will stop screaming,
Lashing out,
Exploding frustrations,
And walking out.