Autistic, Whole and Loved

A poem written by Emma Cox


Diagnosed at 4  

Or “Asperger’s Syndrome” as it was called back then 


Growing up, struggling with shame  

There’s no way I could have a label like THAT!? I thought 

“Unable to build proper relationships  

“Fixated” “Obsessed”  



“No imagination”

But I love people!  

But I love relationships! 

How could I have a label like that!? 


Put in a box  



God why? Why did you make me like this!? 

Wishing I could have surgery  

To take this so called “autism” 

Taken out of my brain 

So I could be so-called “normal” 

So I could be like “everybody else”  

But is that what I want?  

I guess not  


I thought God doesn’t make mistakes  

Then why did he make me? 


Living in a world where people tell you to

“Be yourself!’ only not like THAT!? 


Beating myself up  

How could I say that  


Oh no, I’m doing an “autism thing” again 


Covering it all up 

Don’t show any signs  

Don’t let them know  


Striving for acceptance 

For Belonging and friendship  

To be loved just as I am  


Not really seeing the love  

That was right in front of me  

All along  

By caring people 


Despite the challenges 

Slowly blooming  

Year by year 

With kind people by my side  

Who see the gold in me  

When I don’t see it myself  


Finding refuge 

In going to camps 

Escaping to be 

Where I can be truly myself  

Learning I can be weird and it’s okay! 

Leaving my labels at the gate 


Living in community 

Finding my people  

I need to face this shame head on  

Living with people 

Who see my best sides and worst sides  

And love me regardless  

for and not despite 

My neurodiversity 


It’s okay to be different! 

It’s okay to be weird! 

I am loved, quirks and all  

I was never a mistake  


Learning to accept 

Learning to confront  

The shame I’ve held all these years 


Contacting an autism parent’s group  

“Do you have anything for adults?” 

“No we don’t but maybe you could start one!”  


Confronting the fact that I am autistic  

And that’s okay  

Learning I am loved 

Just as I am  


Learning my autism is not a mistake 

I am made by God  

I am loved as I am  

Yes, I am loved as I am! 


Starting a group  

The Island of Misfits  

A home for the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos  

The different, the broken, the “just haven’t found their people”

Anyone is welcome  

Free to share their views 

Eating together  

Laughing together  

Bringing others into community  


Embracing my neurodiversity  

As something to celebrate 

Rather than hide  


Running an event 

By Misfits For Misfits 

To celebrate our differences  

And know we’re not alone  


I am loved  



And all  


A child of God  

Autistic, whole and loved <3  


I wrote this poem a few days after running a workshop called By Misfits For Misfits- which I ran this past weekend. My past self, who was so buried in shame, would never have imagined that I would now be running a group for neurodivergents! God has taken me on the craziest journey of not only learning to embrace my own neurodiversity, but helping others to embrace and celebrate theirs too 🙂 I am so excited so see what’s in store next for this beautiful community

A photo of Emma in a green crew tshirt, giving a presentation about the Island of Misfits


Posted in conjunction with Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024

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