Autism Night Before Christmas by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house

The creatures were stirring

… Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin

And gave a hot bath

But the holiday jitters

They always distract

The children were finally

All nestled in bed

When nightmares of terror

Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift

The right color

And style

Would there be a tantrum

Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come

But they don’t understand

The pleasure he gets

Just from flapping his hands.

“He needs discipline,” they say

“Just a well-needed smack,

You must learn to parent…”

And on goes the attack

We smile and nod

Because we know deep inside

The argument is moot

Let them all take a side

We know what it’s like

To live with the spectrum

The struggles and triumphs

Achievements, regressions…

But what they don’t know

And what they don’t see

Is the joy that we feel

Over simplicity

He said “hello”

He ate something green!

He told his first lie!

He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty

Who cares if he’s ten,

He stopped saying the same thing

Again and again!

Others don’t realize

Just how we can cope

How we bravely hang on

At the end of our rope

But what they don’t see

Is the joy we can’t hide

When our children with autism

Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others

Without the problems we face

With jealousy, hatred

Or even distaste,

But what they don’t know

Nor sometimes do we

Is that children with autism

Bring simplicity.

We don’t get excited

Over expensive things

We jump for joy

With the progress work brings

Children with autism

Try hard every day

That they make us proud

More than words can say.

They work even harder

Than you or I

To achieve something small

To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don’t get it

Or can’t get a clue

Take a walk in my shoes

And I’ll assure you

That even 10 minutes

Into the walk

You’ll look at me

With respect, even shock.

You will realize

What it is I go through

And the next time you judge

I can assure you

That you won’t say a thing

You’ll be quiet and learn,

Like the years that I did

When the tables were turned.




  1. Germaine

    Wow! Love this, can we put this up daily…..I know us parents on the ASD spectrum can relate. Their every stride is so gratifying, my son us on the spectrum but I also do in home care with a set of triplets who are also. I love my job, everyday is a challenge but I can honestly say that I learn something each day , even if its the smallest thing….next time I will know how to address it. <3<3<3

  2. I love this. Love. This. LOVE.

  3. Beautifully put. 🙂

  4. kim

    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us try to make those around us understand. I shared this on my facebook…Hope you see lots of strides in 2012…Take care…

  5. This was my day, at least in part. My son has Asperger’s and after all I went through to get presents I thought he would like, all I got was how his sister got the Doctor Who sonic screwdriver that was cool (the 10th doctor), and his was just a sonic screwdriver torch (11th doctor style). Never mind the he also got an expensive Lego set and an X-Box game, and the only other thing she got was boots.
    I guess I should take what joy I can that he liked the coal in his stocking. (he wanted that) That was a gift I got free from our coal company. 😦

  6. Martha Loa Gomez

    Absolutely love the poem!

  7. Julie

    I teach children with autism, it’s so true every milestone they achieve is such a battle, but hey how satisfying for when they achieve it no matter how small to Child/Adult, Mother, Father, Techer, Family or friends x

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