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Autism Night Before Christmas by Cindy Waeltermann

December 1st, 2011

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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