A poem about life with autism, written by a then 10-year-old boy, Benjamin Giroux for a class assignment has gone massively viral for all the right reasons.
Benjamin's poem, I am Odd, expresses what it's like to live with the disorder.
The poem first touches on how he feels out of place.
"I hear voices in the air
And culminates into a message of acceptance that everyone is odd in their own way.
"I am odd, I am new
The poem was shared online by Benjamin's father 3 days after he showed it to them.
A year ago today I wrote this poem. 3 days later my dad posted it online to prove to me that it was good. ThankU for your support! #oddtoo— Benjamin Giroux (@GirouxBenjamin) April 7, 2017
According to Bored Panda, when the poem was handed to Benjamin's parents, they felt 'sad and hurt' that their kid was misunderstood at school. But later realised that this is not what the poem is solely about-
“As the poem went on, we realized that he understands that he’s odd and that so is everyone else in their own way, which is what Ben wants everyone to embrace.”
According to Bored Panda, the poem was shared by National Autism Association and since then it has been going viral. The hashtag #oddtoo is generally used along with it.
His poem has been illustrated for a children's book and has inspired and helped a lot of people.
Both my children have autism and your beautiful poem helped me understand them better. You are an exceptional young man and your writing is a gift to the world.— Patricia Carpenter (@untowniecrownie) February 16, 2019
Very nice poem! Everyone is odd in their own way but not everyone is brave enough to admit it.— JaniceO (@Jopsow) February 16, 2019
I looooooove it!!! Thank you for writing it and sharing it💖— Lady Lu (@iamladylu) November 23, 2018
The poem's moving message- of how it feels to be 'different' from others, acceptance of that 'oddness' and a celebration that everyone indeed is odd- is truly inspiring.