Poetry: My Voice, My Life

Amy Sequenzia

Amy is a self-advocate who types her thoughts. The poem below is from her recent book of poetry My Voice: Autism, Life and Dreams. Please contact Amy to acquire your own copy of her book.

My Voice, My Life

Look at me.

Go ahead, take a good look.

What do you see?

Weird? Silly? Pitiful? Can’t do anything?

You might feel sorry for me

You might pity me

You probably think I should be treated like a child.

I’ve heard and seen this before.

“Can she understand me?”

“Does she know what is going on?”

“How can she make choices?”

I understand your confusion

But it is time for me to come out.

Let’s just make something clear

I am autistic,

I am disabled,

I have many special needs,

I look different;

I need help eating, walking, moving around.

I do not need help


That’s what you do not see.

Look at me again.

What makes you think I don’t have an independent mind?

Have you tried to get to know me?

I have dreams, wishes, opinions.

I also have a disability

That prevents me to communicate like most people.

I have other disabilities that make me physically dependent on others.

That’s who I am

That’s who you might have to deal with.

Imagine how it would be

If you were discriminated against

Without a chance to show your inner self,

Without a chance to speak up.

That was my life for a long time

It hurt then.

The discrimination still goes on

It hurts now.

But I decided that I have more to say

Then you might want to listen.

I will make the best use of all my rights

As a human being.

I have a voice

It is MY voice

I now reach out to you.

If you want to enrich your life.

If you believe you can see beyond what other people tell you to see,

Come and meet me.

It will require patience

Because my way of processing

Feelings, thoughts, words, emotions

Is different.

But they still are

Feelings, thoughts, emotions and words.

I promise to be patient with you too

Because your way of communicating

Is also very strange to me.

I might even think it is weird.

I am growing as a person

I fight hard to make a difference.

It is now your turn  

Are you ready to grow as a person?

Are you ready to look at me

And see beyond the “normal”?

What is “normal” anyways?

Let’s try to understand each other’s languages

Try to learn what is so clear

There is no “normal”

There is Diversity

And that’s why we are so unique