Boy with Asperger’s writes astonishing poem about how it feels to be different

"I feel like a boy in outer space - I touch the stars and feel out of place"

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When 10-year old Benjamin Giroux, who is on the autism spectrum, was asked to write a poem as part of a class assignment, no one could have guessed what an incredible insight it would give into what it’s like to live with Asperger syndrome (a form of autism). 

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To start them off, the class was given the first two words of each line of the poem and then asked to complete each sentence. 

Benjamin’s poem in full

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 that’s OK
I try to fit in, I hope that some day I do
I am odd, I am new.

Benjamin’s dad Sonny wanted to share the poem as he thought it might help parents with children who have autism to understand some of the feelings their kids are probably experiencing too – and to show Benjamin that his condition doesn’t define who he is as person.

“I also wanted to show Benjamin that he is not odd, alone, or isolated and that his diagnosis is something to embrace and not something to hold him back,” Sonny said.

“Each like, share and comment he’s received since has made him feel like not only he does fit in and belong in this world, but has also moved him beyond words that he’s touched so many.”

And indeed, Benjamin has received some amazing responses to his heartfelt words. One grandmother said: “[Your poem] touched me deeply in my heart. You are a gift to all of us.

“Thank you for sharing this. [It] helps me to understand maybe what my 4-year old grandson might be experiencing, although he cannot tell us…yet.”

Another said: “I can’t tell you what this means to me. I have two little girls with autism and am autistic as well. I didn’t connect with my family growing up or people in my school. There wasn’t a word for what was ‘wrong’ with me. I was forced to learn how to behave and act. Because of this I’ve made sure that the world adapts to my children not the other way around. I think because of my experience in the world that I am the best mum for my kids. I’m 36 years old and this 10 year old nails it on the head what I have felt all these years. I feel like an alien. It’s taken a 10 year old’s poem to make me feel less alone.”

Amazing.

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