Joshua

I am trapped inside of a box. There are no windows or doors, no furniture, there is nothing inside of this box except sight and smell and sound and touch. I am lonely, in the box. The box is hard to get out of, and no objects can get in. Only sight, sound, smell. Only a bright light, an unusual cough, a wet dog, shaking its fur. Every break in the pattern, a pause in the parade, every small thing that is out of place gets inside of the box.¬†Every honking car, every discolored leaf, is amplified times a thousand, and I can hear things a mile away that no one else can–but I can’t tell if it’s one mile away or right in front of my face. Sights, sounds, smells sometimes blur together until I can’t distinguish one from the next. There is no depth perception, in the box. There is only what happens and what doesn’t.

Stuff doesn’t come out of the box very well either. Words are thick and slur together. It’s hard to form sentences, thoughts. Concentration comes harder, but I have to concentrate on things because otherwise I’d never be able to do anything. The box would stop me, so I. Need. To. Concentrate. It helps me beat the box out of my way. The box will never die, but I am going to get out. I’m only nine, after all. Grown-ups are all normal, so I think that by the time I’ve grown up I’ll be out of the box.

Momma tells me the box has a name. She tells me it makes me worse, that I’m not like everyone else. Momma doesn’t like me. Momma’s never told me she loves me, just because I’m different. She tells my brother and sister all the time that she loves them. I wish she would try to listen to me, but when she does I can never get words out. The box isn’t a part of me. If I can concentrate, hard enough, I can beat the box out of my way and show momma that there is a good side to her little boy, too–not just a boy that’s fighting an invisible enemy. But I can’t tell her. The box stops me. I want to make her proud, but it’s hard when I don’t know anything. I’m not smart or strong. I can’t learn because I have trouble seeing and hearing, and if I did learn, how would I tell anyone? The box stops that from happening. The box is my enemy. But I will defeat it.

Some days the box makes me not able to say what I want and no one ever understands me. On those days I just scream. It doesn’t help. I don’t know if anything helps.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get out. Please help me.

https://www.autismspeaks.org/