Paying the Price

Paying the Price

Day 7 of 30 Days of Poetry

A pair of wide eyes stare straight back at you
Autistic lives mean pounds and pence,
Abused for profit, hurt en masse:
Trained compliance, no defence
Against their need to make us "pass".

If we're to be good girls and boys
We learn to do as we are told
Or else they'll take away our toys
And leave us lonely in the cold.

Behaviour is our battleground
With eye contact and quiet hands,
Sit still, don't rock, nor make a sound,
Just do whatever he commands.

Obedience might suit you well
But know it's gained by force and threat
Resist the ABA hard sell:
A human child is not a pet.

Instead of mourning something lost
Accept your whole autistic kid
Or you might live to count the cost
While nailing down their coffin lid.

The trauma of coercive "cures"
To make us look like all the rest,
A ticking time-bomb that endures:
Too many of us can attest.

The damage lingers deep inside
Until in later life we find
The cracks it caused have opened wide
And left us with a broken mind.

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