I’m back from my Christmas break! Well… almost back. I have three blog articles in various states of completion, but can’t seem to focus on any one of them long enough to get the job done. However, I do have a piece of very exciting news:
The Poetry of Autism: Eyes of Perspective is now finished! On Wednesday… after several hours of grunting, swearing and staining a few pages with my own blood (my book binding equipment is very sharp, and I’m very clumsy) I finally bound the hundredth copy. For those of you who don’t already know, The Poetry of Autism: Eyes of Perspective is a hand bound, hand decorated book of poems by three writers on the autism spectrum. It’s 67 pages long and contains original poems by me, Andrew Smith and Joshua Williams. Eyes of Perspective is the sequel to mine and Joshua’s first book, Seeing Double: The Poetry of Autism, which you can buy on Etsy:
During mid March I’ll be doing a poetry reading/launch event for The Poetry of Autism: Eyes of Perspective. I’ll be putting it up for sale on Etsy at roughly the same time. I was asked to print the book on a special dyslexia friendly paper. While I’m disappointed to say  I wasn’t able to make this happen, I will be producing an audio book of Eyes of Perspective. Anyone who has trouble reading can simply purchase the audio book (on CD), lie back and listen to me narrate the poems.
I’d like to share one poem in particular with you, as it made me think a great deal about my own diagnosis. This poem was written by Andrew Smith, who didn’t receive his diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome until the age of 39. I’ve spoken to many  autistic adults who did not receive their diagnosis until late in life, and often developed mental health problems and self esteem issues as a result. They simply couldn’t understand why they weren’t like everyone else, why they struggled with things others found easy. A diagnosis often helped them put these issues into perspective and learn to celebrate their differences. Andrew describes his own diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome as ‘life changing… I always felt something was missing.’ He wrote this poem (available in The Poetry of Autism: Eyes of Perspective) about his experience of growing up without a diagnosis:
Something Is Missing
The dog walks past but does not bark,
Silently it continues its journey.
The bird opens it’s beak but does not sing,
Silently it perches on it’s branch.
The cat is content but does not purr,
Silently it waits and listens.
Something is missing,
My sixth sense is overflowing,
Flooding me with the
Message that the world is
Not as it seems.
Not what I hear
Not what I see
Not what I touch
Not what I smell
Not what I know
Or believe to be true.
Reality is metaphorical.
I am on stage with no script,
Nothing to inform or direct me.
Interpretation is open and closed.
Communication is alive and dead.
I understand nothing and everything.
Something is missing
And I pick the needle up-
What a fantastic poem! I love the part about being on stage with no script, I think that’s something everyone with autism can relate to when in social situations. Good bye for now. I hope you all had a good Christmas and I promise I’ll be back next week with a more polished article.

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