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Autistic Boy's Poem About Being "Odd" Moves Readers To Tears

Benjamin Giroux - Facebook

When Benjamin Giroux was 10 years old, he felt different from his classmates and friends.

The boy from Plattsburgh, New York has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that can make social interactions difficult, or inspire behavior like repetitive movements and hand flapping.

While we can imagine how a condition like this could make a young boy feel alienated from everyone else, it’s hard to actually put ourselves in his shoes. Which is why Giroux put his own feelings into words with a heartfelt poem.

His work, called "I Am Odd," was inspired by a homework assignment during National Poetry Month. When he was asked to write a poem about himself, Giroux wrote about feeling like a "boy in outer space" who could not fit in with others.

I am odd, I am new #oddtoo

Posted by Benjamin Giroux #oddtoo on Friday, April 22, 2016

Here’s a full version of the poem that’s a little easier to read:

I am odd, I am new

I wonder if you are too

I hear voices in the air

I see you don’t, and that’s not fair

I want to not feel blue

I am odd, I am new

I pretend that you are too

I feel like a boy in outer space

I touch the stars and feel out of place

I worry what others might think

I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink

I am odd, I am new

I understand now that so are you

I say I, 'feel like a castaway'

I dream of a day that that’s okay

I try to fit in

I hope that someday I do

I am odd, I am new.

The work resonated with many parents of autistic children, as well as adults living with the condition. The National Autism Association even shared the poem on their Facebook page.

Giroux’s dad, Sonny, said even learned more about his son from reading his beautiful poem.

"When we ask him how his day went when he gets home from school, we don’t get much more than a one-word answer," he told the Today show in 2016.

"At first, we felt sad and hurt that he feels isolated, alone, misunderstood and odd at school. As the poem went on, we realized that he understands that he’s odd and that so is everyone else in their own way, which is what Ben wants everyone to embrace."

Three years after his poem became a viral sensation, Giroux is still using his talent and creativity to remind everyone that we are all "odd" in our own ways, and sharing messages from his #OddSquad of friends all over the world.

A children’s book even set to be made based on Giroux’s work.

Now, even when Giroux feels odd, he knows that he's not alone. Because we all have days where we feel like the odd one out.

[H/T: Today, Unilad]

Were you moved by Giroux's poem?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com