Exams; detentions; homework… The stresses and frustrations of school-life are obvious, aren’t they?
Well, the answer is yes… some of them. (Award yourself a house point if you got that right.) However, for so many autistic young people, the most challenging aspects of school remain unconsidered or overlooked. A poem:
In this poem I attempt to highlight some of the hidden pains and misunderstandings experienced by many of our children and young people. I’ve named it ‘Empathy,’ with the hope of promoting relationship, nurture, and a quest for true understanding, over one-size-fits-all approaches and quick-fix strategies.
I was diagnosed with autism as an adult. My school experience was pretty miserable, and I ended up leaving due to depression, anxiety, and a sleep disorder, at the age of fifteen. Over the last fourteen years, I’ve worked with autistic children and young people in a variety of educational contexts. Although mainly non-autobiographic, many of my own school-based experiences and mentality are embedded in this poem.
- Video: A poem performed through the eyes of an autistic child. - March 11, 2020