Sunday, 6 September 2009

MULTIPLY Wordsmith's Challenge #1: A Handicapped Child

One fine day when the world was ready
Johnny arrived in his mother’s arms
She was proud, she was happy
The waiting was over
But Johnny was different

Johnny was a happy baby, smiled at all
He had no problems, was content
Lulling himself to sleep, he was safe
comforted by love his parents gave
But Johnny was different

Johnny had no fear of strangers
He greeted them with a smile
Made no difference in whose arms he lay
He seemed the same as other babies
But Johnny was different

He grew, he walked, made baby sounds
said “mama” and “papa”, something was missing
more words, a sentence, some affection
he became still, withdrawn
Yes, Johnny was different

Johnny’s mother and father were very unsure
Their child would not play like others
Repeating the actions
time after time, not talking to anyone
Johnny was so different

Other children at his age would talk
would play together and have their fun
Johnny was happy to be alone
He wanted no others, just on his own
Because Johnny was different

A change in his routine, perhaps new food
It might be new clothes, or in a new place
He would scream in panic, scream loud
Fight and bite, hit and throw fits
Johnny was frightened because he was different

Johnny understood every word that was said
but Johnny ignored instructions and questions
Spoke only for his wants
but did not understand feelings
He was so very different

His parents were worried, a visit to the doctor
A special doctor who cared for Johnny
Johnny is ill, cannot be cured
But he can be helped the parents were told
Although he was different

The years passed bye, Johnny was growing
At a special school he learned to read and write
He was taught to communicate with others
To overcome his fears and worries
but Johnny was still different

With his teachers and school friends he felt secure
At home with his parents he was given their love
He could be on his own, find his way in the town
Go away on a holiday with school, no problem
Johnny was still different

And so time went on, all were proud of Johnny
He could be trusted and was happy
Had special gifts in life because he was different
Left school, went to work and all was ok
but Johnny was autistic

Perhaps I should add that my oldest son is autistic, his name is not Johnny and is now forty years old.

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