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A Day In School, Thru Autistic Eyes

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I grew up as a child not knowing I was diagnosed with autism. This poem is about how even though I didn't know why, I still felt world's different and didn't understand why I struggled so much with simple things. I wanted to show how autism effected me and still effects me. It is written in free verse/narrative and it is written disjointed the way it is to represent and lead the readers mind in the way that my mind worked at this age of around 9
alarm goes off*

I sit straight up startled and scared

Just my alarm, I hit the button

Get up and go to the bathroom

I brush my teeth with my toothbrush

Scratchy, painful bristles

Toothpaste that makes me sick

With the strong mint flavor

Back to my room going thru clothes

Too scratchy, too tight, too bright

They all hurt in some way

I grab my favorite dark red, smooth and loose

Then some shorts, jeans hurt too much

Mom calls me for breakfast so I go down

Eggs and bacon with a piece of bread

I grab the bacon least crunchy possible

The eggs are fluffy and not runny

The bread I spread a little grape jelly

After I eat it’s grab my bag and off to the bus

Here comes the bus, eye searing yellow

Lights flashing, engine roaring

doors opening with a hiss

it's empty for now, but that will change

soon it is full, screaming and yelling,

jumping, running, throwing, and banging windows

i hold my ears and close my eyes

it's too much, it's too much

i repeat my silent mantra over and over

Until we finally get to the school

i jump up and rush forward first one off

behind me they start pushing and shoving

more yelling and backpacks swinging

i get inside and go straight to the cafeteria

sit at my class table and wait

the lights above are buzzing and bright

kids are talking, loud and fast

yet i sit alone in a crowd

no friends around me even in my class

i'm too weird they say, i'm strange

i flap my hands and rock in place

make weird noises, and like odd things

again i sit hands over my ears

eyes closed tight wishing it all to end

suddenly a teacher appears at my side

she grabs my arm and pulls me aside

"what's wrong with you?" she asks

"it's too loud" i reply "it's too bright"

she looks down at me and sneers

"why cant you be like johnny over there"

she points across the room

"he laughs and talks and the noise doesn't bother him"

she takes me back and sits me down

And then just walks away

finally my teacher comes

we get up and file off, orderly and straight

down the hall to our classroom

there we go to our desks

hang our backpacks on our chairs

screeching chairs, banging desks, rustling clothes

buzzing lights, voices, bright colors

smells of soap, people, chalk, and paper

teachers says we start with science

again screeching, banging, zippers opening

books slamming against desks

pages turning, chalk clicking

it is so loud

teacher starts the lesson

yet i am unable to focus

all i hear is buzzzzz, rustle, rustle

squeak, screech, groan, sigh

lights, clothes, shoes, chairs, kids

it is all i can hear

suddenly my name rings out

The teachers asks me what she just said

And I sit unable to answer

Breath starts coming faster

Walls feel like they are closing in

Everyone is looking at me

And I just want to disappear

Finally she calls on another kid and he answers

Back to me she says

"Now why can't you focus like Billy here"

Time goes by and suddenly

A bomb goes off, in my head

Sound everywhere ears and head in pain

Lights are flashing behind my eyes

It is the bell going off for lunch

In the cafeteria again

The 2nd worst place in school

Kids jostling and pushing thru the line

Registers clanging, lots of kids talking

Yelling, screaming, and throwing things

Finally this torture ends and back to class

At the door the teacher pulls me from the line

"Look at me" she insists

I bring my eyes to her stomach

"In my eyes, why is that so hard"

I look up into her eyes

It feels like I am being swallowed whole

Breath starts racing again and coming hard

Feels like a fire is lit behind my eyes

I quickly look away again

She starts in about concentrating in class

And acting more like the other kids

"If you would just be more like

Cindy and look at people

You could actually make some friends"

As if I haven't tried

She doesn't understand, no one does

I'm alone, a freak, a weirdo they say

Who would want me

The rest of the day passes, in a blur

As I withdraw from all the world

Finally the day draws to an end

Off to the bus we head

A long ride home loud and raucous

I sit holding it all in

Almost there can't let it slip now

Finally I see it, my stop up ahead

My mom is standing waiting for me

I get off but I can't say anything

She looks worried

I know she can tell

We walk home in silence

We get to the door

I go to my room

And. It. All. Explodes

Screaming, yelling, throwing things

Tearing at myself tooth and nail

Can't stop it, though it hurts

But yet not as much as when kept in

Suddenly I feel them

Her arms wrapped around me

Holding me, stopping me from hurting myself more

As I sit, everything pours out

All the things that happened today

As I am safe in my mothers arms

As I finish and I start to calm

She looks at me and says

"I have no son named Johnny or Billy.

Nor a daughter named Cindy. I have an amazing son

named Andrew, and he is a person all his own. Don't be

them, just be you."

She holds me tight as I fully calm

She tells me she loves just the way I am

Yet I hear the hitch in her voice

I know she loves me but something isn't right

As I look down at her arms

I see the marks imprinted there

I know I caused them and I hurt more

I hate myself and I hate this

I don't understand

Why can't I be like everyone else

I can't keep going like this

I pull away and tell her I'm sorry

I go to my bed and pull the cover over my head

She tells me it's alright

She knows I don't mean to

But I say nothing and she leaves

As I lay there exhausted and tired

I feel myself drifting as sleep creeps up

I wish tomorrow would never come

Then I hope that if it does

I have the strength to do better

And make mommy proud of me

As I fall asleep, and darkness envelops me.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 12/11/2018 8:36:00 PM
Andrew you were meant to write, and tell this story, and give it to teachers, and teach them. I think this needs to be shared with EVERYONE. I am a teacher, and it has taught me. I am yelling BRAVO for this one. I had dyslexia as a child and grew up not knowing that.
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Krutsinger Avatar
Caren Krutsinger
Date: 12/11/2018 8:37:00 PM
Oh, great, Jan and I had the same mind here, both yelling BRAVO!
Date: 12/6/2018 5:35:00 AM
Oh Brett I have tears reading this, I worked in a high school for 16 years working mainly with aspergers students, your poem describes so vividly what it is like to live with and how you struggle to cope with total sensory overload . This poem should be sent to an autism association and published worldwide so people can understand some of the difficulties you deal with on a daily basis. Poem of the year for me BRAVO! :-) hugs Jan xx
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Ellis Avatar
Andrew Ellis
Date: 12/6/2018 6:04:00 AM
Thank you very much for your kind words here. And thank you for the work you did with them, I'm sure it meant a lot.