Now Reading: AUTISM NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS — A Poem By Cindy Waeltermann



This poem was written in 2008 by Cindy Waeltermann, who is the founder of the organization Autism Link.

I just discovered it today thanks to a post on my Autism Daddy Facebook Page

Thought many of you might like it…

Autism Night Before Christmas
by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don’t understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.

“He needs discipline,” they say
“Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent…”
And on goes the attack

We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it’s like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions…

But what they don’t know
And what they don’t see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said “hello”
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty
Who cares if he’s ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Others don’t realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don’t see
Is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,

But what they don’t know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don’t get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings

Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don’t get it
Or can’t get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I’ll assure you

That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You’ll look at me
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you

That you won’t say a thing
You’ll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned……


Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

Conversation (32)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

32 People Replies to “AUTISM NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS — A Poem By Cindy Waeltermann”

  1. Very nice poem of autism care. Thank you for post. Keep it up!

  2. Anonymous

    I'm sorry but if your child is so ungrateful as to complain about the wrong color or style of something, you need to either yeah a little respect to them or not buy them presents period. That is beyond disrespectful. What if a family member gives them a gift that they don't like? Tell them to sit there politely and say thank you. I feel like people use autism as an excuse for being a disrespectful brat. Yes they have issues, but that doesn't give then the right to be rude and just expect others to understand. Yeah se understand…we understand your child is rude. Work with someone to teach then manners.
    As for the "he ate something green" I think that if you are only feeding you child junk that they like, you are a crappy parent. Of course kids are going to like junk. If you put something on their plate they will eat it. If they don't they can go to bed hungry and try again at breakfast be a parent! They cant manipulate you!!

    1. Anonymous

      you are one of those who TRULY don't understand then! and yes, to some extent you can manipulate them and making that effort and balance to modify their behaviour is critical but a lot of work and consistency. my son is 21 now and I rarely take him in public places or even other people;s home. Sadly he left school 2 yrs ago — and has been regressive because he no longer has that social interaction in a secure place he truly needs. Aside from the effort in taking them in public, it's the pain of judgemental people in those places which is more difficult to deal with

    2. Anonymous

      Wow, I'm sorry but truly you do not understand. It is not that they are trying to be rude or disrespectful. Often children on the spectrum can become fixated on things, colors, food textures, etc. There is no disrespect intended. Their brain is wired in wonderous way, and perhaps you fail to understand the beauty. With all things come the positive and the negative. Let it go, and try to enter their world so you too, can appreciate the beauty that is their mind.

  3. Excellent post!!! I have learnt many things form here. I have also website where you can ivsit and pass your leasure time. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. To get more information, visit here……………

  4. Brilliant. I loved the line about celebrating his first lie. That's just something no one except other autism parents will understand! A lie being a cause for celebration is just one of those uniquely weird things that happens in autism world.

  5. Anonymous

    I'm 6'3" and 230lbs. This broke me down to tears. I see the frustration at times in my sons eyes and I know that sometimes I'm not as patient as I should be with him. He's my little buddy and I love him more than life, I hope and pray that I can find the patience he deserves and the strength to give him the very best of me that I can.

  6. Awww now I am having goosebumps. I so love this poem and it's truly heartwarming. Every Christmas, it became a habit to read poetry and short stories about christmas (in fact I compile some of my favorite short Christmas poems to read later on) and I must say this is one-of-a-kind. My heart melted. God bless you and may you have a wonderful holiday!

  7. Anonymous

    THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE THING I HAVE EVER READ. My eleven year old brother has regressive autism and just seeing him open a present and not get upset makes me the happiest and proudest sister.
    I hope this poem helps people understand and i wish you a very merry Christmas and a blimming brilliant new year!!!

    1. Your brother very fortunate and blessed having a sister like you, your parents must be very proud. I'm sure because I would be the happiest person in the world, if my son (close to same age than your brother) could be a loving sister than you.:-) God bless all of you!

  8. This is a very beautiful, EYE-OPENING Poem! Thank you very much for sharing! Merry CHRISTmas!!! <3

  9. Mr. Ryan O

    Loved the poem. Beautifully written and I can definitely relate. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. Anonymous

    I love it! I'm trying to hold it in. Thank you!

  11. Anonymous

    What a brilliantly written poem-I have a 10 year old daughter who has autism and I can relate to every line! Happy Christmas to you and your family-I hope 2014 brings you good health and happiness.

  12. I am so glad you like this. I wrote it out of sheer frustration back in 2008. 🙂

    1. Cindy, please let me know if there's a copyright that you'd like me to add or if you want me to add a link to another site or page.

      I was new to blogging when I "copied" this but I want to give you the proper credit… 🙂

  13. Anonymous

    that is awesome !!!! had a tear in my eye

  14. Anonymous

    thanks for sharing… made me cry…

  15. Anonymous

    Good stuff! If you like this from Clement Moore check out a Rodgers and Hammerstein autism rendition:

  16. Anonymous

    that was an awsome poem i am a mother of a child with a slite touch of autism an its hard an he repeats his self alot thanks !!!!!

  17. I LOVE this 🙂 Thank-you so much for sharing this here 🙂

  18. Anonymous

    I feel for all parents with any form of autism. It runs the full gambit, from severe to high functioning. I was lucky to have a child born as a high functioning. But the trials and tribulations are non the less as difficult as any other. May you all be blessed and keep remembering, if God brought it to you, he will see you through it.

  19. Anonymous


  20. Anonymous

    Amazing, beautiful and so true. Thank you 🙂

  21. Anonymous

    Thank you!Happy Holidays!

  22. Anonymous

    This is wonderful, I do not have a child with autism, however I do have friends with a son who is autistic. I admire the sheer strength of all of the parents out there who fight this battle along side their children every day! I wish a Merry Christmas for all of you, with at least one smile and much joy for all of your children with autism!

  23. Anonymous

    Blessings to all parents of children with autism.
    You make this a better world!
    Merry Christmas

  24. Anonymous

    wow, that is beautiful!! <3

  25. Anonymous

    I love it… I live it everyday I hope to look back at it and laugh but then I may go stark raving insane lol

  26. Anonymous

    It is a great poem. I also have an autistic son (now of adult age) and have worked with austistic children for the past 13+ years. For the many parents who are out there with children on the spectrum, we have been given a special gift from God to help us look at life differently. I would not have it any other way.

  27. Anonymous

    i like this story,its so true people that dont have autistic kids just dont umder stand they reather judge or say r kids r being bad, but we know that they cant help how they are . my son is my very special boy 🙂 and i dont care what others say