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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: 1/10/2019 1:01:00 PM
Hello Andrew, you have the way you are. A sickness,that needs help from a doctor. A doctor that deals with this condition,is the one to help a person with this illness. You also had the wrong teacher. That did not help either. I wish you the best. A friend to you. have a nice day my friend.
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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.