Can you hear it?
Splashes upon splashes of sound.
I hear it all
like one big noise.
A big drum.
They are there.
I am here.
I'm Here goes from an autistic boy's view of the world at the playground.
Voices are like drum beats. Loud. Louder. Almost hard to bear.
The other children are playing among themselves. They are there.
The boy is in his corner. He is here.
Is he sad or lonely? No.
He know he is here. Right here.
He feels the breeze patting his head. He notices a leaf dropping by his knee for a visit. Then a piece of white paper falls in front of him.
And he knows: "This is not where the paper wants to be." The boy decides to help the paper get to where it wants to be.
What about the boy then? Will he get to where he wants to be? Where there and here aren't too far apart?
Sweet and simple. What's simple? The wish to tell the world that you are here. And the wish for a friend to come into your world. That she is also here. For you.
It's difficult for autistic children (and actually many children as well) to reach out to others without first flying out from himself.
This honest and direct story is by Peter H. Reynolds, author and illustrator of The Dot, a tale about how any masterpiece begins from a dot. I love his messages:
- Afraid of painting a masterpiece? Begin with a dot. (The Dot)
- Want to get closer to somewhere there? Start from here. Fly your way to wherever you want to go (not where everyone is). And someone will notice you're here. Someone will come. Then she will be here. And you can tell her you are here, too. (I'm Here)
My favourite line comes from the inner jacket: "The distance between two people is only as big as you let it be."
Have you had the experience of playing on your own, so happily in your own world that it begins to attract other kids over?