Seeing Differently

I hate the word disorder
and they say that's the best way to describe it;
as if you were a book from their shelf taken out of alphabetical order 
They call it a "disorder" as if it can be fixed with a label maker and a filing cabinet.
there's a spot for all the mistakes, 
a file for all the times your momma and sister tried to teach you,
and all the times you're going to fail. 
And baby boy I hope that you don't learn that word 
because it's not your fault 
when you are confused 
and scared about the world.
Having a conversation with you,
like asking if you really like mustard the best.
You are unbelievably smart 
and not enough people know it,
but when you walk on your tiptoes 
and flap your hands as you smile beautifully at the sky,
you are my constant reminder that life is only as good as you perceive it.
I learned recently that two girls from Illinois  
tortured a boy like you.
Beat and stabbed him,
made him walk on a pond of thin ice.
And when he fell in, 
made him try and get out himself.
And the thing that disgusts me that most,
is that they recorded it all on their cell phones.
It broke my heart,
and I can only hope 
that no one will ever ever even look at you the wrong way,
but I know I can't always keep you safe.
I have to prepare you though,
for the hardest part of your journey.
You will hear very bad things.
Maybe you see and hear people saying things about you,
as if those things are bad.
Maybe people react to your presence in a strange way.
But first,
let me say this: 
there is nothing wrong with you.
Your brain works differently,
you react to things differently.
you process things differently,
but there is nothing wrong with you.
But the people who can’t understand
might say you are “not right”.
They will try to “fix” you,
or file away your problems,
but you are not broken.
I also want you to know that not everyone is like that.
There are people like me,
and your momma and your daddy, 
your sisters and your brother.
You can move mountains.
So every time you feel rejected 
and pitied 
for being autistic,
know that the problem is not because of who you are.
It is the world that simply does not understand. 


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