The Misunderstood Child
A poem about children with hidden disabilities
by Kathy Winters
I am the child that looks healthy and fine.
I was born with ten fingers and toes.
But something is different, somewhere in my mind,
And what it is, nobody knows.
I am the child that struggles in school,
Though they say that I’m perfectly smart.
They tell me I’m lazy — can learn if I try –
But I don’t seem to know where to start.
I am the child that won’t wear the clothes
Which hurt me or bother my feet.
I dread sudden noises, can’t handle most smells,
And tastes — there are few foods I’ll eat.
I am the child that can’t catch the ball
And runs with an awkward gait.
I am the one chosen last on the team
And I cringe as I stand there and wait.
I am the child with whom no one will play –
The one that gets bullied and teased.
I try to fit in and I want to be liked,
But nothing I do seems to please.
I am the child that tantrums and freaks
Over things that seem petty and trite.
You’ll never know how I panic inside,
When I’m lost in my anger and fright.
I am the child that fidgets and squirms
Though I’m told to sit still and be good.
Do you think that I choose to be out of control?
Don’t you know that I would if I could?
I am the child with the broken heart
Though I act like I don’t really care.
Perhaps there’s a reason God made me this way –
Some message he sent me to share.
For I am the child that needs to be loved
And accepted and valued too.
I am the child that is misunderstood.
I am different – but look just like you.