Poetry that Paints What Life Can Be Like with a Child Who Has Special Needs
There is a growing number of people with Autism. It is easy to come across people who know someone who lives with a person with Autism. Only those who live with it in their house day after day can understand what it truly means.
Parents are often treated like they are wrong to feel like the rug was pulled out from under them, they shouldn’t feel isolated, they don’t really need any extra support. They should be able to live exactly like all other parents. However, this is often how these parents feel: everything they expected is gone, they feel alone, they need people around them who can give them the extra help they need, and they need a society that understands.
Each person with Autism is unique. What they can learn on their own and what they cannot differs for each one. Many things that we take for granted that the child will learn eventually has to be taught. The child might have to be taught the meaning of every word, no matter how concrete, no matter how abstract, no matter how related it is to basic placement. The child might have to be taught how to watch other people’s behaviour, to understand when to stop, when not to step over the line that will bring unwanted attention. The child might have to be taught there are more than just two emotions. This requires a lot of time and can leave the parent with little energy for anything else.
People with Autism are also frequently misunderstood. Most people see the reactions of people with Autism as exaggerated, as a sign of being spoiled, even as a plea for attention. However, people with Autism have the daunting task of having to figure out how they work best internally, what is expected of them in the external world, and how to build the bridge between these two worlds. It can be overwhelming.
Bubble Fusion, by Danielle Wong, paints a portrait of a child with Autism from birth to early adulthood and her mother through a series of poems. It is set in three parts: “Inside One Bubble”, “Inside an Un-suspecting Bubble”, and “Time Ticks Inside Bubbles”.
The first part, “Inside One Bubble”, snapshots what it was like to have a newborn who didn’t have the same reaction as her siblings at the same age, the acceptance of that child, and the attempts to keep up with the free quirkiness of the daughter. It shows how the child reacted to her world and her frustration as she came to realize she was not the same as the other children in class.
The second part, “Inside an Un-suspecting Bubble”, focuses on the mother:what she endured, how her life changed, how she felt, how she spent her days.
The third part, “Time Ticks Inside Bubbles”, is a coming to terms that finds all the good that happened. The original thoughts and dreams from the beginning were erased. They had to be. They were replaced with a more open outlook of life, an outlook that could only build stronger relationships and a surprisingly more beautiful life.
Bubble Fusion was written to look back over the years, come to terms with the situation, and to move on. Upon approaching the end of writing the book, it was clear that this book could help other parents just discovering this uncharted world, and it could help professionals working with children with special needs and their parents.
“I love this book of poetry!!! It’s beautiful, moving, and powerful!! As a social worker I would recommend this book to anyone with a child with different needs and for anyone who works with families with children with different needs!! There are poems that really any parent can relate to!"
- Wanda Nelson
“Bubble Fusion by Danielle Wong is a beautiful collection of poetry that will allow you to more fully understand her daughter. She speaks honestly about being a special needs mom, and you can feel her joy, her complete love, and dedication in every single page. But she also talks openly about the struggles, especially in early diagnosis. Through her poetry, she allows everyone to see life through her daughter’s eyes and her relationship to the world around her. Order a book, you won’t be disappointed.”
- Melinda Cochrane, President of Melinda Cochrane Publications Inc.
Danielle Wong has had her work published in various anthologies, Soft Cartel, Melinda Cochrane Publications blog, and Montreal Writes Literary Journal. She is a poet and author of flash to short fiction. She also is an editor, having worked on such books as Unspoken by Steven Fortune and Pages in Time by Gary Gurnsey. She currently lives in Montreal.