My Boy Has Autism

This is a piece for my art degree, an expressionistic sketch I have made in my sketchbook.

My son has autism. He is 13 years old. He has difficulty relating to the world around him at times, suffers from anxiety and mild learning difficulties, but at the same time is very bright and articulate and has an amazing vocabulary. He feels trapped sometimes, by the autism. It can be little things, like his food averisons, or his sensitivity to sounds, or the unpredictable nature of our world. Sometimes he has huge meltdowns.

This toy, Iggle Piggle, was a gift from my late grandfather when Milo was a baby. My grandfather died three years later, followed by my son’s father a week later. This toy has a lot of sentimental value for me, as it takes me back to the love and support we had when my son was a baby.

This piece represents how my son feels as an autistic person, and how I feel as the mother of an autistic child. I think it speaks for itself.

copyright ©️2021 Sarah Drury

Too Big for Hugs

TOO BIG FOR HUGS

You’re too big for hugs
Now
Too big for hugs
Now you’re 5ft tall
Catching me up
I’m pretty sure
You could
Pin me up against
The wall
As you
Meltdown

This morning
Leaning into me
And those sweet words
“Hug, mum,”
In your sleepyhead
Voice
And your
Dreamland eyed
Glaze
Smelling of
Tween
Head of clean curls
This is a miracle
You’re usually
Not playing
Keen

Where did my baby
Go
Where are those
Hazy days of
Snuggling at
The breast
And toddler dinner
Mess
Wobbly
First steps
Potty poop victories
First time you said
Mamma
Sobby
First days
At school
But
You’re too big
For hugs now
I Guess
They’re just
Not cool

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Vivaldi

Ode to that bloody awful music you get when you ring the DWP! And the way they compartmentalise our disabled kids!

Vivaldi
Your timeless beauty sounds so ugly
In its incessant, perpetual monotony
On the end of this goddamn phone
Streamed into had-enough ears
As I wait
As I wait
As I wait
My last thread of patience almost gone
My son a statistic
As you sit in your ivory tower offices
Ticking criteria boxes
Playing God but Godless
Not giving a flying fuck
That my kid is a human being
Not some faceless scrounger
Not some work shy loser
Not some benefit fraudster
Just a child.

Vivaldi
Never had perfection
Sounded so brash, so annoying
Like salt rubbed into raw, bleeding wounds
Waiting for a ‘how can I help you?’
Waiting for the punchline to the joke
The pretence
The ‘we care’ rhetoric
But in their defence
They deal with pounds and pence
Not hearts.

Vivaldi
Whilst my child can walk, can talk
What the fuck do you know?
He eats, he sleeps, his mind is set on go slow
He has a learning disability
He tries, his mind denies him
Of a ‘normal’ life
His condition a serrated knife
With jagged aspirations.
But he can walk, he can talk
He eats, he sleeps
That is all you need
You do not see him
Yet your protocol has agreed
To reduce his benefits.
Like some germinated seed
Who is yanked from the ground
And tossed into the gutter
To save a pound
While the voice of my spirit resounds
In futile, hostile whispers.

Vivaldi
I hope one day you know what it is like
To have a child with a disability
To raise a soul with a differing ability
So that you develop empathy
Where there was apathy
So that sympathy spreads its comforting palms
Around torn, worn parents
So that understanding spews from mouths
Of those invested in the system
So that disabled kids are not pawns
In austerity
So that politics are not a mitigating factor
In this cancer we call an equal, enabling society.

©2020 Sarah Drury