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10-year-old with autism asked to write poem for homework, his teacher reads it and is at a loss for words

Josephine 03/11/2021

A teacher gave a 10-year-old boy with Autism an assignment, expecting him to read it in front of his class. But, he never made it to school the next day to complete the task. Instead, his parents were at a loss for words as they stared at his homework.

Benjamin Giroux has a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. The developmental disorder is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. For Benjamin, it means he usually doesn't express much emotion. So, writing a poem isn't an assignment one would expect him to be excited about doing.

In fact, any excitement over homework or school was seemingly out of the ordinary for Benjamin. "When we ask him how his day went when he gets home from school, we don't get much more than a one-word answer," Sonny Giroux, Benjamin's father, recalled. Much to his father's surprise, however, his 10-year-old son came home from Cumberland Head Elementary School in Plattsburgh, New York, more excited than ever one day.

Benjamin's fifth-grade teacher asked her students to write a poem about themselves, and the boy couldn't wait to get started. He sat down at the kitchen table and began his homework, which instructed him to begin every few lines of his poem with "I am." Enthralled with the assignment, Benjamin started writing and didn't look up from his paper until he was finished hours later, according to Today.

After Benjamin's poem was complete, he took it to his parents. It immediately choked them up as it became clear Benjamin was well aware of his Asperger's and the difficulties he faced because of it. "I am odd, I am new," Benjamin's poem began."I wonder if you are too. I hear voices in the air. I see you don't, and that's not fair,” he continued, painting a picture with his words of what it's like to live with autism.

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