During autism awareness week I’ll be sharing a different poem everyday. The poems I have selected offer unique insight into what it is like to live with ASD, as well as celebrating the creativity and individuality of people on the spectrum. Most of the pieces were written by writers with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, however, I’m including one poem that offers an outsiders perspective of autism. In an earlier blog post I said I would be including three of my own poems. However, I was so spoilt for choice when selecting poetry to share with you that in the end I decided to include just one of my pieces. Without further ado, here is my first poem for autism awareness week:
The Glass Box
These glass walls,
Thinner than a single layer of skin
Have made me utterly unreachable.
I cannot hear you,
You breathe clean air.
I breathe the same stale air
out of shape
To fit the confines of this space.
The glass thickens.
Shadows start to bleed.
We are strangers to each other.
That poem is one of my own. It can be found in The Poetry of Autism, which you can purchase here:
I wrote “The Glass Box” when I was nineteen years old and studying at university. It was the first time I addressed autism through my writing. I wanted to create a sense of the social isolation I was experiencing, this feeling of being irrevocably separate from the people around me and unable to interact with them. During that time my senses were also at a low ebb, hence the glass walls which smells, sounds and other sensory information cannot pass through. Now my glass walls are gone and I can engage fully with the world. However, there is always a risk that people on the autism spectrum will become isolated or socially numb, which is why early intervention and the teaching of social skills are so important. While neurotypical children tend to learn to socialize by osmosis, most autistic children do not have this ability and need to be made aware of the hidden social rules in order to become a fully functioning member of society when they are older.
Don’t forget to check my blog tomorrow for another poem about ASD.