Poem for an Autistic Child

A Tribute to August

from “The World According to August —

One Good Friend”
by Sandy Westendorf

To soar on wings of eagles

to glide along the glade

to bounce and jump and whirl and twirl

to dream and search and sway.

He has so much in common

with you and me you see —

a bright and charming sweet young boy

who senses all with clarity.

To hear, to see and touch and smell,

he takes all in so well,

his self expression is unique

his feelings hard to sell.

We might whisper, he might yell

but one can never tell.

He likes himself and folks like him

and that works out quite well.

August has needs and we have ours,

life comes with give and take ―

love and comfort, peace and joy

needs all share, so we partake.

A smile, a doubt, a look askance

a wave, a nod, a sigh —

He needs hugs and love at times,

same as you and I.

He gazes on the sights nearby,

is stirred by beauty there.

A swan takes flight, a songbird sings,

if only he could fly.

Unspoken words may bite his tongue,

but thoughts within belie.

A word from Mom, a smile from Sis

unspoken things give him answers to why.

Show him love and friendship now

his joy you’ll never miss.

  Don’t ever leave just stay nearby,
he just might make you cry.

August is a special child

and August needs a friend.

August is a special child

And August is my friend.

a poem by Rich Weatherly, October 7, 2011

For more information about autism and “The World According to August – One Good Friend” by Sandy Westendorf  refer to http://purplebirch.com/books.html .

Sandy managed a team of behavioral specialists and is the mother of an autistic child. According to Sandy:

Every child is unique; the extent to which they are affected is also individual. If you are not living with autism, it is easy to miss the child and only see the diagnosis.The aim of this book is not to speak to autism as a disorder or to define it; there are many excellent references which address those specific topics…

The book was written in an attempt to demonstrate, although outwardly,
these children may appear different; but inside—where it counts—they
are the same as you or me.Children with autism love, have an ego,
feelings which can be hurt, a sense of humour, and even a mischievous side.

I heartily encourage you to support research into autism by purchasing this book.  A percentage of the proceeds will be donated equally to support Canadian-American Research Consortium (Autism Research) and the International Society for Autism Research.


Filed under Understanding Autism

25 responses to “Poem for an Autistic Child

  1. I’ve reviewed this book, and I can vouch it, it’s well put together, and the story is both engaging and informative.

    A really great job in capturing the joys, and challenges of getting to know an autistic child Richard. I really loved the poem, insightful and sensitive.

    • I couldn’t have said it better, James. It was the book that inspired poem.
      I would not have written the poem without this inspiration.
      The author is to be commended for giving us all an enlightened account and motivating us to action.

      Thank you for sharing your review of this wonderful book. My hope is that folks will be moved to purchase it and support research with its purchase.

  2. Rich your poem is so beautiful & touching. Wonderful tribute to autistic kids who like everyone else need love & understanding. First time I read it I cried like a baby ☺
    One of the best poems I’ve read in a long while.

  3. This poem reaches through the walls of our minds, and touches the heart with truth. Very well done Rich! 😉

  4. Your poem is touching & beautifully written. I understand #autism as it pertains to children and adults, though my experience is mainly with those over the age of 18 who have autism / high-functioning autism. Any adult or child with a special need deserves all the more generosity of spirit, in my view. Thanks for being an advocate and for inspiring with your poem. ;-

    • Mia,

      Thank you for your generous comments. Poem for an Autistic Child was a pleasant, enjoyable experience. It was my response to S.L. Westendorf’s, The World According to August and I encourage anyone who enjoyed the poem to read Ms. Westendorf’s story.

      You can be sure that I’m an advocate of those with special needs and agree we should support the needs of those of all ages.

      Thank You.

  5. This is such a beautiful poem Rich! You conveyed many emotional levels with this and the importance of having compassion for people like August.. August is lucky to have you as a friend too.

    • I’m pleased that you were touched by my poem. Please consider the book that inspired me, The Word According to August by Sandra Westendorf. Much of the sentiment in the poem is an encapsulation of thoughts in that book. Portions of the proceeds fund research into Autism which is a cause I full support.

      I’m sincere about this and hope my comments don’t ring of shear sentimentality. I admire your writing, so your comments are especially touching. Thank You.

  6. Very nice poem; it gave me the shivers… It also gave me eyes to see.

    • Thank you Nadina. It was all inspired by Sandy Westendorf’s book, The Word According to August. Much of the sentiment in the poem is an encapsulation of thoughts in that book. Portions of the proceeds fund research into Autism which is a cause I fully support.

  7. Dear Richard,

    This was so lovely. One of my son’s is autistic and this made my day. To me this just made my day. Thank you! This is what I say to my son Michael every day! This was so beautiful.

    Syl Stein

  8. so beautiful, and so right, Rich!! What lovely work!!

  9. Thank you for sharing this, Richard. I know just who I’m going to share it with. 🙂

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