This weekend, we received the following e-mail (and accompanying poem) from Gary Herrmann, a member of our community who is the father of a nine-year-old named Michael, who has Asperger Syndrome.
Like a lot of kids with Asperger Syndrome, my son has difficulty in social settings. He has one good friend. At the time he wrote this poem, both families had been very busy for a couple months, and he hadn’t been able to see his friend Billy very often. That, combined with some of the difficulties he had been experiencing in school lately, probably contributed to the feelings he expresses in the poem below.
The assignment was to type the poem. He was given some direction as to how each line should begin and word to use in each.
I was overwhelmed by the poignancy expressed in his poem. As you will see, my son’s name is Michael, and he has a heart the size of our planet … Maybe my son’s poem will strike a chord with parents and families and remind them that even if they have difficulty expressing them, our children experience all of the same emotions we do.
I am Michael.
I wonder if I am human?
I hear ringing all the time.
I see molecules ……I think.
I want more friends .
I am lonely.
I pretend I have more friends .
I feel left out.
I have the record of the least friends in the school .
I worry if I have no purpose.
I say jokes to be funny.
I hope people now understand.
I am Michael.