Autism – A Story of a Son and Dad

There was a time, it’s been awhile

When all I wished for was a smile

My baby boy, my pride and joy

Just sat and rocked; ignored his toys

He didn’t wave or seem to care

Looked right through me with his stare

Just one word or a look my way

So many nights, awake, I prayed

“Oh higher power, somewhere out there”

“Can’t you see how much I care?”

I offered my life in an even trade

Make him whole and I’d die today

He’s my little boy, but he doesn’t speak

Nothing helps and I feel so weak

How did I fail, what was my crime?

That my baby boy has to serve my time

So many questions with untested solutions

We tried everything; with few improvements

The days, they were long, the nights much longer

As I struggled in self-pity, my wife was much stronger

She’s angelic and nurturing and her heart is so pure

“It’s autism,” she said, “and there is no cure”

The truth, how it hurt; it left scars my soul

I nearly tipped over, fell deep in some hole

And yet I was stopped, perhaps a hint from above

So I gathered my strength; used the power of love

Those distant blue eyes, where everything seemed lost

Dedicated to help him, no matter the cost

Every credit card, dollar and every red cent

Spent them all wisely; they came and they went

Many teachers, many tutors, and so much therapy

Each moment so worth it, in hopes he’d be free

Days went by, then months, and then years

We faced constant battles, felt constant fears

It was the hardest thing that I’d ever had done

But I’d do it again, because it helped out my son

I confess to moments of weakness at times

Shouting out loud, nearly losing my mind

My tearful nights and sometimes alcohol

I was looking for answers; a safe place to crawl

Seeking sense those night, when all seemed lost

Wondering again, what line did I cross?

Until one day when everything changed

As if, our Creator had things arranged

My wife she kissed me, and went to bed

A million thoughts ran through my head

I had what some might call an epiphany

Overcame my fears; I could finally see

Our little boy was not alone

He had a family, he had a home

Even though there was no plan

We stood as one, we made our stand

Two steps forward and many steps back

With help we brought his life on track

Our daughter made a special bond

My wife, the anchor, kept us strong

With love, and love, and love some more

We watched him blossom; that’s for sure

It’s a family thing, and I’m so humbled

Supported one another, so no one crumbled

Each step, each day, some big, some small

We all are there; won’t let him fall

Tears are flowing but I’m no longer sad

He’s my little boy….and I’m his dad


Author’s Note

I am a proud parent of a son living with Autism.  He’s amazing and I’m blessed that Creator chose me to be his father.  Both his mother and sister are amazing beyond any words I can say – they are the top two reasons why he’s as far along as he is today.  I am honored, blessed and humbled to have them both in my life.  I’m encouraged by watching my son overcome challenges and start his journey to manhood.  It’s inspiring to see his strength and resolve.

This poem is dedicated to every mother, father, sister, brother, friend, and health-care professional who gives their time and resources to helping someone with autism live a complete life.  You make more of a difference than anyone might say out loud or you may ever realize.  Thank you.

-What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger   (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Links to Autism Resources

Autism Society

Autism Speaks

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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

2 thoughts on “Autism – A Story of a Son and Dad

  • April 3, 2018 at 11:08 AM

    Love, the greatest of blessings, has touched you all. This verse is beautifully written with heart and soul.

    Love and many hugs to you and your very very special loved ones, Ralph.

  • April 4, 2018 at 1:49 AM

    A blessing indeed Ralph, and often it takes a long time to even know that. A heartfelt poem filled with love and affirmations of positive life. Beautifully emoted my friend.


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