A 10-year-old boy from Plattsburgh, New York found the words to explain his experience with autism with a moving poem.
The poem started as a school assignment for young Benjamin Giroux. The assignment was to write a poem about oneself starting every few lines with "I am."
As a young boy with autism, Benjamin decided to base his school assignment around his experience of the world as an autistic person.
The result is powerful and incredibly moving.
My poem. I am Odd. #ODDTOO https://t.co/djVVtPN9mI— Benjamin Giroux (@Benjamin Giroux)1461459111.0
"I am odd, I am new,
I wonder if you are too
I hear voices in the air
I see you don't, and that's not fair
I want to not feel blue
I am odd, I am new
I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink
I am odd, I am new
I understand now that so are you
I say I, "feel like a castaway"
I dream of a day that that's okay
I try to fit in
I hope that someday I do
I am odd, I am new."
Benjamin's parents were overwhelmed when they first read the poem. Their first reaction was that their son lived a struggle-filled life because of his autism, but as they re-read the poem, they realized they had misunderstood his poignant words.
Benjamin's father Sonny explained,
"At first, we felt sad and hurt that he feels isolated, alone, misunderstood and odd at school. As the poem went on, we realized that he understands that he's odd and that so is everyone else in their own way, which is what Ben wants everyone to embrace."
Indeed, everyone is odd in their own way, hence Benjamin's hashtag #ODDTOO.
The internet is reeling from the poem's insight into life with autism.
@GirouxBenjamin beautiful !— Monia Jaafar (@Monia Jaafar)1464632021.0
@GirouxBenjamin Your honesty and understanding of life is far beyond your years. The understanding you have and the… https://t.co/GjEdm8BcLw— David Sheinkopf (@David Sheinkopf)1550379941.0
@GirouxBenjamin I love your poem. Please don't fit in, and don't be scared of the voices in the air, what makes you… https://t.co/ZdKURZPe1Z— TheArtofApril-Anna (@TheArtofApril-Anna)1550266669.0
@GirouxBenjamin It’s a beautiful poem. 😢 #oddtoo— Meow (@Meow)1550265215.0
@GirouxBenjamin I stumbled across your poem today. It is indeed beautiful. And, as my father always told me as a ki… https://t.co/YTffyFveZH— Harald A. Wiltsche (@Harald A. Wiltsche)1550490432.0
@GirouxBenjamin Both my children have autism and your beautiful poem helped me understand them better. You are an… https://t.co/Qq0loiTz5L— Patricia Carpenter (@Patricia Carpenter)1550354545.0
@GirouxBenjamin twitter can be a miserable place, but you have made many of us smile - if you ever are missing your… https://t.co/eeithzN1mn— Dan Stefanson (@Dan Stefanson)1550280030.0
@GirouxBenjamin @sonnygiroux @TheEllenShow it's such a beautiful poem I think I have read it a hundred times .— DoncHilliard (@DoncHilliard)1488723940.0
Beautiful. Inspiring. #oddtoo , by @GirouxBenjamin , made my day. https://t.co/WkJO5Dp8E4— Raphael Bene (@Raphael Bene)1462228536.0
@GirouxBenjamin Thank you. You’re wonderful words helped me. We are all Odd It’s a big BIG club. Me too.— 💃🏼KKC (@💃🏼KKC)1550274862.0
Thank you for your wise words and insight, Benjamin!