You don’t know me

But I saw your son at school today.

He was wearing a red shirt,

and I waved

as his sweet face gazed up at me from behind the fence.

(I remember when my Andrew was that little.)


You must love him so much.



I noticed he was alone on the playground

and even though he’s small

I’m not quite sure how it was that no one noticed he was missing


I stood and watched

hopeful that I was wrong

and I waited

for someone to come running over

swoop him into their arms

apologize for the misunderstanding

and promise him that it will never ever happen again

but no one showed up

so he just sat there

staring up at me

while I gave them the benefit of the doubt


until I just couldn’t take it anymore



and finally

a startled teacher, clear across campus

sauntered over


tried to play it cool

like she meant to leave your little boy all by himself to silently trace half-circles in the dirt

while she giggled with her co-workers

and waited for the %@#@$%  bell to ring


I know he can’t talk

(neither can mine)

I know he won’t tell you about his day

(neither will mine)

I know he can’t defend himself or ask for help

(neither can mine)


But you know what?

I CAN and

I’ve got a BIG MOUTH


I promise you

if I ever see him out there

all by himself

ever again

(and trust me, I’ll be watching)

I won’t be yelling “HEY” next time




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24 Replies to “From One Special Needs Mom to Another”

  1. wow this made me cry i thank God everyday that my son can talk but we are their voice keep up the great work May the Lord bless you always

  2. thank you for speaking out, as a mom that knows…. we are their voice, their warriors. Fight on.

  3. My sone is 2 and he is nonverbal… This scares the crap outta me…. I don’t know if I will put him in main stream school

  4. This actually happened to my autistic son in the beginning of the year in first grade. And the teacher actually told me about it while she was on a rant complaining about him. She said, “By the time we realized he wasn’t with us, and he finally came in, we had all already been to the bathroom and were washing our hands!” She left him outside alone, left him to come in on his own, then blamed him while telling me about it. Then she told me my autistic 5 year old son really needed to grow up. Imagine her surprise when I removed him from school the next day.

  5. I hope to one day see this right beside “Richard Corey” and all the Gwendolyn Brooks poetry in my childrens’ Lit books.

  6. Please know that there are teachers that love and adore your special gifts from heaven. I consider it an honor to get to work, play, teach and protect your wonderful exceptional children. And I thank you for sharing your child with me and trusting that I will care for them as much as I do my own. Yes the are some teachers that dont get it …that makes me sad … But there are many that do and love having them be a part of their class and their lives.

  7. Thank you, Bless you, God Luv You Jo! Incredible poem!!!
    Unfortunately there have been similar sad incidents throughout my son’s life – he is 30 yrs. old now and still lives at home. Fortunately, there have been far more decent, kind and dedicated professionals in his life than the bad apples. The doctors, therapists, teachers, respite workers, case managers etc. have all been, for the most part, a blessing in our life. Certainly, we could not do this alone!

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