Feb. 22, 2021

Ep. 9: Autism Does Not Define Me - A Message of Hope and Inspiration

Ep. 9: Autism Does Not Define Me - A Message of Hope and Inspiration

In today’s episode, we will be sharing and discussing the poem, Autism Does Not Define Me written by Karen Krejcha, an autistic mom parenting two children on the autism spectrum. The poem has been translated into multiple languages and also appeared in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum: 101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger's.


In today’s episode, we will be sharing and discussing the poem, Autism Does Not Define Me written by Karen Krejcha, an autistic mom parenting two children on the autism spectrum. The poem has been translated into multiple languages and also appeared in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum: 101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger's.

 

Accept me for who I am,

Understand that I may not always get what you're saying.

Trust that God has me here for a reason;

I am an amazing human being.

Socially, I might not fit in with society's expectations.

Mentoring can help me along the way.

 

Don't forget that I have feelings even if I don't express them.

Opportunities for my happiness are indeed possible.

Educate and encourage me without prejudice.

Show patience and kindness along the way.

 

Never give up trying to "get" me.

Ostracizing me will just shut me down.

Take time to try and come into my world.

 

Defining me as my diagnosis ignores my essence and best qualities.

Emerging talents may arise when you least expect them.

Friendship and honesty is valued to me more than you can imagine.

I am in need of love and tenderness too.

Never let me give up, especially when you see my mood shift.

Expect the unexpected and watch me enrich your life. 

 

Many people will read this and I pray millions will act.

Embrace and empower someone with Autism today.  


Autism Does Not Define Me

copyright 2010 Karen Krejcha

 

Karen Krejcha as a toddler in a favorite w-sitting pose.

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Show Questions with timestamp for Question and Answer:

Why are we going over this beautiful poem on today's show? (1:48)

Could you read the poem first and then we will circle back and talk about it? (3:17)

If you see the poem and look down, the first letter of each sentence spells out Autism Does Not Define Me. Can you talk about this and your thinking process? (4:57)

Do you remember writing the poem and if so, what were your thoughts at the time? (6:31)

So this was about a year and two months before Autism Empowerment was even formed, correct? (8:58)

This was also part of a book, can you talk about that and some of the responses? (9:32)

Has there been any negative feedback? (12:40)

I love how it starts, "Accept me for who I am." You start with acceptance, why? (14:22)

One of the lines I loved was, "Defining me as my diagnosis ignores my essence and best qualities." Can you talk about that? (16:50)

The poem ends with the line, "Embrace and empower someone with Autism today." Why did you end that way? (24:17)

I am going to throw you a question you may not be ready for.  I know how much you like surprises. Can you pick one or two other lines from the poem that really speak to you. (27:58)

So why did you pick those two lines? (28:52)

It has now been over 10 years since you have written this. It seems as relevant today as when you first wrote it. What do you see as the biggest takeaways? (32:24)

As also seen in:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum: 101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger's (2013)

Spectrum Life Magazine (formerly Spectrums Magazine) Spring 2017

Spectrum Life Magazine Blog 

Follow Karen at Twitter: @Aspierations

Karen Krejcha's writing at Spectrum Life Magazine

Full Transcript. Click below on words to play. 

There may be slight errors due to the way artificial intelligence interprets our voices. We've done some light editing. We hope this accommodation will be useful to you. Downloads are also available for free.

Transcript