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A Boy With Autism Writes Poem For Homework His Teacher Is At A Loss For Words


Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with speech, repetitive behaviors, nonverbal communication, and social skills. Today, an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States suffer from autism. Some autistic children are highly challenged while some can function in a traditional classroom setting.

Benjamin Giroux

Benjamin Giroux is a 10-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism. He works very hard to be in a normal classroom setting. It isn’t always easy, but Benjamin wants to be a normal kid. Like most children with autism, Benjamin’s life isn’t always easy. Because he is autistic, he feels different than the other kids. He feels like he stands out, but not in a good way. Still, he does his best to fit in with the other kids and do well in school.

The Assignment

Benjamin’s teacher gave the class an assignment. The class was learning about poetry, and she wanted her students to write their own poems. They couldn’t write just anything. The teacher gave the students the first two words for each line, and they had to complete the sentence with their own words that would result in a poem that rhymed. She understood that her students were only 10-years-old; therefore, she wasn’t expecting poems that compared to that of Robert Frost or John Keats. She just wanted her students to learn about poetry and understand how good it feels to write something original.

Excited About the Assignment

Most kids grunt and groan when their teacher gives them an assignment. This isn’t what Benjamin did. His father, Sonny Giroux, says that when Benjamin gets home from school, he and his wife ask how his day was. On most days, they get nothing more than a one-word answer. On the day that Benjamin’s teacher assigned the poetry assignment, he seemed to be very excited.

Sitting At the Table

Sonny says that when Benjamin got home from school that day, he took out his books and started his homework the way that he did each day. After a few minutes, Sonny realized that this day was different than most. Benjamin took out his worksheet and his notebook, and he got to work. Sonny says that he didn’t get up from his chair until he was finished. He didn’t even look up from the notebook until his poem was complete.

Benjamin’s Poem

Benjamin’s poem read:
I am odd; I am new
I wonder if you are too
I hear voices in the air
I see you don’t, and that’s not fair
I want to not feel blue
I am odd; I am new
I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink
I am odd; I am new
I understand now that so are you
I say I, “feel like a castaway”
I dream of a day that’s okay
I try to fit in
I hope that someday I do
I am odd; I am new

Benjamin’s Parents’ Reaction

When Benjamin finished his poem, he showed it to his parents. After the read the poem, that had the same reaction that everyone else who read the poem had. They were floored. Their son struggled to express his feelings out loud. When he put pencil to paper, everything that he felt became clear. They couldn’t believe that their son had written something so raw and so honest. Sonny says that it brought tears to his eyes. This boy with autism writes poem for homework, his teacher is at a loss for words. Everyone was at a loss for words.

Living With Autism

This poem is amazing. It gives people who don’t understand what it is like to live with autism a glimpse of what it is like. Since autism makes it difficult for a child to express themselves and emotions, we never get to see and hear what they feel. This 10-year-old boy gave us insight into what a child with autism feels on a daily basis.

Sharing the Poem

Benjamin’s parents were so moved by his poem that they wanted to share it with the world. Not only did they want people to see how talented and articulate their son is, but they also wanted other parents who have autistic children to get a glimpse into their children’s minds. They could do this through Benjamin’s poem. Sonny took a photo of the poem, and he uploaded it on the National Autism’s Facebook page.

The Poem Went Viral

Since Sonny shared his son’s poem on Facebook, it went viral. The poem has been shared over 37,000 times. It also received over 50,000 reactions. People from all over the world were touched by Benjamin’s poem and his words. He truly is an inspirational and talented boy.

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