Benjamin Giroux is not just a regular boy. He has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism which often makes him socially awkward.
He usually don’t express much emotion, but on April 7, he came back from school more excited than ever. To celebrate National Poetry Month, his teacher asked her fifth-grade students to write a poem about themselves, beginning every few sentences with “I am.”
Benjamin couldn’t wait to start writing, so he sat down at the kitchen table and didn’t look up until he was finished. A few hours later, he showed the poem to his parents, who immediately got choked up. And once you read his poem, you will too.
“At first, we felt sad and hurt that he feels isolated, alone, misunderstood and odd at school,” Benjamin’s parents said. “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.”
“I am odd, I am new, I understand now that so are you,” the poem reads. “I say I ‘feel like a castaway,’ I dream of a day that that’s OK.”
Benjamin was supposed to read his poem aloud to the class the following day, but his anxiety hit hard and he stayed home. He was sure his poem is o good, so his father posted in on Facebook in hopes of getting some encouraging comments from his Facebook friends. Not only did he receive a support from his family and friends, but thousands of people reacted saying how much the poem touched and inspired them. And hundreds of parents thanked Benjamin for letting them know how their own children might be feeling.
You did an excellent job, Benjamin!