Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Change in Perspective

Like many of you,  I subscribe to Your Daily Poem and The Writer's Almanac. I look forward to receiving a poem in my email every day.  I've gotten to read many amazing poems that I might not have discovered otherwise.  I especially love it when I read a poem that connects to my life.  Today's poem was so touching, I wanted to share it.

The poem "17 Sounds of a Boy with Autism" by Anjie Kokan could have been written about my two-year old grandson.  Recently, we found out that Victor is showing signs of autism. As a teacher, I've worked with many autistic children and know their struggles. So, it has been heartbreaking to think of the challenges my grandson might face. 

Victor is mostly non-verbal, but through therapy, that is beginning to improve.  His vocabulary is quickly growing!  He is a very loving, smart, and happy little boy. He sings and dances and makes us smile.  My son and daughter-in-law are extraordinary parents who are patient, supportive, and provide him with every possible opportunity to enhance his development, and it's working!  The future is bright for our little guy!

What I especially love about this poem is that it gives us a different perspective on autism. Just like the boy in the poem, my grandson has a need for sensory stimulation and Anjie describes that need so beautifully. So, I'm sharing it in honor of my precious grandson who brings joy into the lives of everyone who gets to know him.


17 Sounds of a Boy with Autism
           -Anjie Kokan

Lego pieces sliding on the wood floor
with Mr. Potato Head eyes
sandwiched in the middle
The shaking of a house
with the bouncy applause
for Toy Story at 4:32 a.m.
A quiet sigh of awe while the train
whistles beyond the bay window
The unnecessary gush of tap water delight
Eggshells cracking open on the linoleum floor,
scrambling feet sliding through that yolky goo
Quick scribbles on the Magna-Doodle
His bedroom door opening and closing,
opening and closing.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Linda who is hosting today's Poetry Friday at Teacher Dance .


  1. This poem is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. I'm sure your choice to make the font blue was intentional! Our SPED team has blue shirts that read "1 in 88."

    1. I felt the same way when I read this poem, Mary Lee. I'm so glad that we are becoming more aware of the large number of children affected by autism.

  2. What a darling picture of your Victor, Linda. I did see the poem, too, & sent it on to a friend whose child is autistic. It is exactly right, isn't it?

    1. Thanks, Linda. Victor has the sweetest personality. I love the innocence that comes through in this picture.

  3. I love how that poem shows that there is both richness and overwhelm in being alert to so much in the world.

    1. I like that too, Karin. I can't imagine how exhausting it must be for a child.

  4. I read this and then got side-tracked from commenting by reading other poems by Anjie Kokan. Have you read The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time? It's a great book that was recently made into a play, which I hear is very good also. The protagonist is on the spectrum.

  5. No, Tabatha, I haven't read that one. I'll look for it. Thanks for sharing!
    P.S. I love discovering new-to-me poets, don't you? : )

  6. This is such a wonder-filled poem, Anjie. I'm glad it continues to help so many. Victor is a beautiful child and I'm so happy you've shared your grandson with us, Linda. Thank you.