People always judged her & her son, but how she writes the truth out—it’s bringing people to tears

March 6, 2018 4:50 pm Last Updated: March 6, 2018 4:50 pm

Living with Asperger’s syndrome—whether you or a family member have it—can be rough. At times, you become so full of stress and emotions, you can’t help but put your feelings to paper.

As someone with Asperger’s myself, I’ve always written what’s on my mind—a move that led to the career I have today.

My mother, a minister, would write too. Sometimes she’d create poems or stories about me for local publications. Other times, those stories would fuel her sermons.

My mother delivering a sermon (Courtesy of Becky Zahller McNeil)

This story is about a similar mother whose boy with Asperger’s prompted her to pen a spectacular work of poetry. After sharing it with her friends and receiving glowing praise, she shared it to BBC’s Family and Education Facebook page where it currently sits at 925,000 views.

The poem was written by Dr. Sophie Billington as her 11-year-old son Tristan had a tough time adjusting to the change in routine brought about by a school break.

“I wrote the poem through frustration and despair really. I was worn-out, emotional and frustrated. It came from the heart—I literally wrote it out of frustration,” Billington told the BBC.

“And I was wondering how other parents with children with Asperger’s syndrome felt and realizing that perhaps we all need to share our stories.”

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

Asperger’s is a high-functioning form of autism; it’s closer to a neurotypical brain than most forms. This presents a unique set of challenges because it’s not immediately obvious from the outside looking in.

“People tend to look on and see this older child behaving in a way that looks younger and they think, ‘It’s bad parenting,’ and that the parent should be telling the child off—because they think the child looks ‘normal,'” Billington said.

These assumptions about her child and parenting skills no doubt played into the annoyance that led to the development of the poem.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

“My message is … to not look at a child that they would consider is over-reacting but stop and think perhaps that mother actually needs you to help, not judge,” said Billington.

Below is an abridged version of the poem called “This Child of Mine.” Click the video at the bottom of this article to hear the full work.

This Child of Mine (who hates being called boy or kid!)

He is wired differently

To you and me,

This child of mine.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

He doesn’t like loud noises

Or dark spaces

Or strangers touching his head.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

His brain can see in an instant the pattern,

…The solution to a puzzle.

But he cannot tie his shoelaces at 11.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

He is different this child of mine.

Has no filters,

Speaks his mind,

Has no pause button

But he hugs me and tells me he loves me every day.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

He is different this child of mine,

He is loving,

He is kind,

He is generous

But the world judges

Sees only the outbursts and over-reactions.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

He is different this child of mine,

His name is Tristan,

Not boy,

Not kid.

I hope that his road through life will be one of kindness and understanding.

(Facebook/BBC Family & Education News/Screenshot)

The poem proves that, despite Tristan being different than other children, he is smart, talented, and funny. While he has difficulty with some skills other kids pick up with ease, there are also plenty of things that Tristan can do that other kids couldn’t dream of doing!

All in all, he seems like a fantastic kid with a great mom. Best of luck to both of you as you continue to nurture and support each other!

Wired differently: A poem about Apergers syndrome

Sophie's son has Aspergers syndrome. She was inspired by him to write this beautiful poem for everyone who knows a child who is “wired differently”. (via BBC Family & Education News)

Posted by BBC News on Tuesday, February 27, 2018