10-Year-Old Boy with Autism Writes Poem for Homework, His Teacher is at a Loss for Words

Poetry as a part of literature is probably the supreme way of expressing the feelings of the author via words. It differs from when we write our thoughts in a text; we need to be more skillful to express our thoughts through verses that are in rhythm and tone. The poem must show our true mood, diction, and setting.

In school children always have an assignment of writing a poem, and when they are young the teachers tell them to freely express their thoughts. Poetry teaches them about literature but as well as by writing poems they can express their deepest thoughts and feeling. They can simply be what they really are.

Benjamin Giroux is a 10-year-old from Plattsburgh, New York, who also got an assignment to write a poem with the title “I Am”. However, Benjamin is not like any other kid he fights with the Asperger’s disorder every day. So, when he got the assignment from his teacher for homework he found it as a way to express his feelings about who he really is.

Asperger’s is a type of developmental disorder and if you are a child it can be really difficult to cope with it. Nonetheless, Benjamin got the assignment and found it as a chance to be creative and express his true feelings.

He came home and was very excited that he can write something about himself. Sonny Giroux, Benjamin’s father said:

When we ask him how his day went when he gets home from school, we don’t get much more than a one-word answer.”

Now, he was different, eagerly taking a position at the kitchen table and starting to write the poem without even looking up. He finished the poem and showed to his parents. Here it is how it goes:

Benjamin’s Poem – “I Am.”

 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 outerspace

 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.

When his father saw it he was left without words, he said:

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.”

Benjamin’s poem amazed many people and aside his teacher and parents the poem was shared by the National Autism Association becoming quickly viral. It was shared online, over 49,000 times, and frequently accompanied by the awareness hashtag #oddtoo.

The poem revealed the deepest thoughts of Benjamin and aside the fact that he is aware of his illness and refers to it as “odd”; he also acknowledges the fact that other people can be also odd. This poem highlighted Benjamin from the other children and offered him many awards. His poem was a hit and has been illustrated for a children’s book, then used in tattoo designs, and even inspired the creation of other songs.

Nonetheless, he experiences the biggest satisfaction when he gets the feedback from people like himself.

Sonny Giroux continued:

We try to read him as many comments as we can to show the impact he’s had. It makes him happy too, which is always nice to see.

Ben’s goal was to have people understand that being odd is different, and different is amazing, and people shouldn’t be afraid of who they are. And that makes me one proud father!”