When Benjamin Giroux, aged ten, received his assignment from his teacher, he had no idea that his heartfelt words would touch so many lives.
The assignment was simple: he needed to write a poem describing himself, using the words “I am.” Benjamin poured his heart and emotion into his poem, giving others hope and a glimpse into an autistic mind.
Benjamin usually keeps his feelings and emotions to himself. Something about this assignment drew him out of his silence, though, and we are all the better for it.
Per Benjamin’s poem, he explained, “I am odd, I am new. I understand now that so are you.” Another part claims, “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.”
Benjamin’s parents were initially devastated to realize how isolated their so felt. As Sonny, Benjamin’s father, stated in an interview, “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.”
Benjamin’s parents shared his moving poem online, where it was a viral hit. It has been shared more than 40,000 times and uses #OddToo. The National Autism Association shared the poem on its social media, too.
Benjamin has been enjoying his fame. His poem was used in a children’s book and has achieved several awards. Benjamin has been receiving letters from across the globe by people who loved the poem and were moved by his words.
Benjamin has stayed in touch with his artistic side, moving on from writing to drawing and music.
Benjamin has received awards for his work and his words were even used for a children’s book. He’s also received letters from people all over the world who were moved by the poem. Benjamin is also continuing to thrive in school and has moved on from writing to expressing himself through drawing and playing music.