Poems on autism by Thomas G. Andry

What is it like to have a Child?
What is it like to have a child?
Who has needs severe or mild
Preconceived dreams, hopes and plans
Have slipped through my fingers like grains of sand
What is it like, rare as it may be
To sometimes see someone looking just like me
Brief glimpses of a smiling face
But from a far, far, far away place
What is it like as days pass to years?
There are plenty moments that dry your tears
An appropriate comment from out of nowhere
Tells me that there’s a real person in there
What is it like to look thru my eyes?
Concerns about the future, not times gone by
What’s to be when I’m no longer here?
Who will protect him from the fears?
Of people who do not lend a hand
Or from things he just can’t understand
From places that he should not go
From things that he really should know
From dogs or cats or things that are wrong
From an institution where he doesn’t belong
Why do I doubt and have a care
When I know that God’s hand has always been there
He has selected me for this mission in life
To watch and guard this child living the strife
What is it like to have a child?
Who has needs severe or mild
How blessed I am and how really great
To see God’s “special work” and celebrate.
by Thomas G. Andry
He Danced!
The day was soon to come
The wedding of an elder son
An autistic child doesn’t travel well
And in my son’s case it’s a living hell
He tarnished my thought of wedding music
When I told him he was to be included
A dance of wills began as he tried to undo
The uncertainty that I was leading him to
“It makes my stomach hurt and I’m afraid.”
Are some of the things he repeatedly said.
On my knees was the only place to go
But he could not replace his thoughts of woe
He continued to complain, anguish and cry
“I’m not going, if I have to fly”
And every other reason came to his lips
As he hoped he would make me give up this trip
This dance continued without a pause
As he tried to understand the cause
But I was listening to a different song
For his safety, he had to come along
The day came and the music grew louder
Groom, bride, guests and flowers
Before I knew it, it was done
The groom and bride were finally one
Real music began and not just in my head
I realized my son had enjoyed where he was led
And not just the planes, clouds, mountains and farms
The next thing I knew, he had the bride in his arms
No longer to the music in my head
But this dance was to the prayers I had said
What’s so special about this dance?
For an autistic child it is a chance
In this place full of music, noise and chatter
Something happened that really mattered
He came out of his world of sameness and rote
And entered mine full of joy and hope
That smile on his face as the music was followed
In this room that has now become so hallowed.
What is so special about this dance?
Not just for a bride giving him a chance
But for my son,
He danced
He danced!
by  Thomas G. Andry
weddingdance
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How I came to know St Philomena the Wonder Worker

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In 1976 a Carmelite priest started up a club for singles. I was then twenty years of age. In early May of that year our club attended a dance some miles away. I met my husband Chris there. He joined our club. I liked him very much but he took no interest in me. He also thought that I was too young for him anyway. (There is an eleven year age difference). To make matters worse I was extremely shy. By September I had made no progress in getting his attention.

A novena was needed. I went down to a Catholic bookshop (in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta) during my work lunch hour. I asked the shop assistant for a novena to a good miracle working saint. She was very busy with customers who were picking out First Holy Communion gifts, so she pulled out a box full of prayer cards and leaflets and told me to go through it and select whatever I needed. I then found a leaflet on St Philomena the Wonder Worker. It had a novena, some sketchy information and a black and white picture on it.

The most important bit of information on it was that St Philomena was a wonder worker and that she worked miracles of every kind for people in every class of society.

I had never heard of her before, although I know now that my great aunty Rose’s second name was Philomena, so that implies that my Irish great grandmother (who had migrated to Australia) had known about St Philomena and my mother has since told me that the Church of St Brigid, which was built in the middle of the nineteenth century* which was near our home (on the corner of the street that we lived in) had at one stage had a statue of St Philomena in it. (This must have been when I was very little, or even before my birth because I had absolutely no recollection of it).

I made the novena to St Philomena in September 1976 for a boyfriend. I did not specify anyone in particular and Chris took me out to the pictures the following month on October 15. St. Philomena was fast!

We were married on December 3, the following year. In December 2007 we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  We have five children (three girls and two boys).

Since then St Philomena has done a great deal in my life and I have seen her work wonders for myself and for many others.

Mary Ann Matulis

(Australia)

*St Brigid’s Church at Prospect was demolished in 1975.

Some more St Philomena items

Novena to St Philomena the Wonder Worker for the healing of autism

St Philomena chaplet  

St Philomena’s intercession for mothers and babies

Many more St Philomena topics are listed here

Would you like to join a Living Rosary? Click here for more information.

Read my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), free on-line.

The powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and ways to help them.

If St Philomena has granted you a favour, please let everyone know about it by putting a comment in the comments box.  Thank you.