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Autistic

They say he’s autistic.
Just another statistic.
Stupid and thick.
Oh my, what a dick.
But you see how really foolish
it is to apply labels
to gifted and talented individuals.
They say he’s autistic.
Not talented or gifted.
Yet another statistic
in an Ofsted exercise.
He should be at this level, he could be at that.
He’s not managing expectations.
Has to work harder than everyone else.
Exactly why?
What are you hoping to achieve by your shoulds and your shouldn’ts and conditions of worth.
To the erstwhile politician who’d have a prodigy
treated like an oddity.
When what of the banality
of a government that hates
poetry, creativity.
Cutting the arts for a laugh.
Why’s that you wonder?
Because Mrs May has a deficit
in human etiquette.
Go get some empathy.
But that has no price tag.
This crazy corporate country
creates inequality mindlessly.
Is it so hard Mrs May
to treat everyone the same?
Not simply those rich twats that laugh at the misfortunate.
Hate honesty and truth.
Cos guess what Big Brother’s going to get you
if you don’t speak out now.
So going back to autism.
Take this statistical algorithm.
One in four people have mental health problems.
Often brought on by autism.
This has piled up an epidemic that costs the government billions.
I will give another statistic, only eight percent of people with schizophrenia are working.
How many people here have mental health problems
but won’t speak up for obvious reasons?
So going back to autism, dyslexia. Or any ism.
ADHD, homosexuality. Gender binary.
But if you will listen while I tell you the truth.
That the dreadful vulgarities arr not the labels themselves.
But those who apply them like conditions of worth.
Who has ever been called stupid and proved their teacher wrong.
Whoever has asked a question or been shouted down for getting it wrong.
You see the truth is there are good teachers and bad ones.
God save us from the bad ones.
Please Lord teach them some empathy
so we all get on in harmony,
and if one thing having my son has told me,
is never give up fighting his corner and the truth.
Let’s work on the weakness but build up his many strengths.
And consider intervention also for those adults and children who bully through their own ignorance.
By ignorance this could mean lack of knowledge,
like I used to have, but you build it up and learn and empower those around.
Never trying to hurt others.
Or treat them like stepping stones.
For we are all in this together, either that or it’s them and us, believe in equality and what you have is stardust.

About Geraldine Ward

Geraldine Ward has been writing and performing various forms of poetry and prose from an early age, and is a regular contributor at the London Farrago Poetry Slam nights. She has published a number of books including the "Now" collection, and has featured in other publications including Katie Metcalfe's "Beautiful Scruffiness" series of magazines.

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