I stand before you in a place I’ve stood before,
To create awareness and inspire, those that soldier on in the autism journey,
To stay put even when the going gets tough,
I stand here to prompt and stir your thoughts to listen when autism is mentioned,
To put yourself in the shoes of a mother,
A mother’s anguish when their child is diagnosed with autism.
I have walked on the path and understand the challenges, the challenges of an autism mother,
The pain of losing your child to autism,
The agony over the future of the child, in a society that remains judgmental,
The high cost of therapy, supplements and specialist fees,
In a social order where money is more valuable than an extending hand,
In a society not accommodative to the differently talented,
A people who have little space for employment of the challenged,
I have walked that lane with other parents tagging me along,
Urging me not to bulge in the autism mission,
Soldiering on with the strength of a deer,
Comforting me when the going got tough, being there for me,
Lessening the agony of each new day
Autism, A Neuro-developmental disorder affecting boys more than girls,
Autism, a disorder that is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication and behavior,
Autism, A word when mentioned elicits a stare,
Autism, one of the misunderstood disorders,
Autism, high functioning or low functioning,
Autism, where no two children are alike,
Where children are regarded as being badly behaved, even when they struggle to understand and rock the world,
It torments me when authorities don’t seem to listen,
When my neighbor says it’s a curse,
When my church minister says ‘all this guy needs is a prayer’,
When everyone says it’s only a few missed milestones,
Who will listen when as parents we tell our story?
Who will act when we speak?
Who is our friend in this autism journey?
Who is willing to join in the awareness band, to preach autism acceptance and inclusion?
Can we count on you as differently talented society of Kenya, can I count on you……….. Can I???
Poetry by Alice Mundia (