Autism Night Before Christmas

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This is a poem by Cindy Waeltermann, which I ran across a few years ago, and like to share with others.  It conveys the mindset, emotions and spirit of many parents during the holidays, who have only one thing on their wish list for Santa.  

Merry Christmas to everyone affected by Autism.  Have a very happy and healthy New Year! -Ed

Autism Night Before Christmas
by Cindy Waeltermann

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……

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5 thoughts on “Autism Night Before Christmas

    Be1ngSpec1al (@Be1ngSpec1al) said:
    12-14-2012 at 3:20 pm

    I am a teacher of children with autism, that poem is brilliant, thanks for sharing.

    Melanie Ryding said:
    12-14-2012 at 3:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Being Special and commented:
    A fabulous poem, that speaks volumes.

    Ann Kilter said:
    12-14-2012 at 7:18 pm

    “He told his first lie!” Who would think that was wonderful except some parents of children with autism? I would, and I did.

    M.Valdez. said:
    12-18-2012 at 4:16 pm

    Little strides are great strides. Thank you for sharing and happy holidays.

    […] hoped to elevate others’ moods (and my own) this holiday season with the last entry “Autism Night Before Christmas” but as with the universe, the plans of mere mortals often go […]

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