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This Poem Sums Up What It Feels Like To Be a Parent to a Child With Autism

I’m on the outside looking in.

And although I’ve been here awhile,

You never really get used to it,

It just becomes your lifestyle.

It’s a different kind of existence.

One that requires a unique type of persistence.

On the outside looking in,

And what do I see,

Lots of children talking,

Their voices sound so sweet.

But my child is silent, no words does he say.

It’s like a part of him is locked away.

On the outside looking in,

And I can’t help but stare

When I see children say they’re hungry or thirsty,

Or tell their parents when they’re hurting somewhere.

But my child’s moans are really all the same.

And so I’m forced to continue this exhausting guessing game.

On the outside looking in,

And when I look around,

I see children singing along to songs,

Their voices abound.

But no melody from my child will you hear.

It makes me wish I could just disappear.

On the outside looking in,

In a state of woe,

As children wave their hands,

To say goodbye and hello.

But my child does not yet know how to greet.

Just another reason I feel the urge to retreat.

On the outside looking in,

I gaze enviously,

As parents give directions to their children,

And their children understand them clearly.

But my child doesn’t comprehend most of what I say,

For him, the simplest concepts are so difficult to convey.

On the outside looking in,

I watch with jealousy,

As children point to whatever interests them

Little hands exploding with intensity.

But my child’s hand stays at his side.

It’s not even something I’ve seen him try.

On the outside looking in,

Tears rolling down my face.

I wipe them away as quickly as I can.

All signs of melancholy erased.

I try to maintain a tough facade, pretend I’m too strong to weep,

Instead I fall apart at night, when my house is dark and all are asleep.

On the outside looking in,

Surely the others must see me

And have some compassion,

At least to some degree.

But unfortunately it seems as though

Very few have any sympathy to show.

On the outside looking in.

Never feeling like I truly belong.

Yet I continue to try to fit in,

Why do I insist on playing along?

I only walk away feeling defeated and more alone.

It’s not something I can continue to condone.

On the outside looking in,

It’s such a lonely place,

I look to the left and right of me,

But there’s no trace of a single face.

I’m always searching, unfortunately to no avail.

Hoping maybe this time, my search will turn up a trail.

On the outside looking in,

It’s not where I chose to be.

It could’ve easily been you and not me,

On the other side of the door without a key.

“This could never happen to my child!” you might’ve said,

But no one can tell what lies ahead.

You just might find yourself where my story begins,

On the outside looking in.


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