Congratulations to 12-year-old secondary school student, Ava who has won a national poetry competition with her entry about living with autism 

You can read her winning ‘Power of Poetry’ entry below:


“Take a seat and sit with me
 I want to talk about ASD
 If you don’t mind I’d like to explain
 A little thing called autism and how it affects my brain
 It can make me anxious, angry, and afraid
 But this stays in my head; on my face, it’s not displayed
 I may seem heartless and question your meanings
 But it takes me a little longer to process the feelings
 Take a seat and sit with me I want to show you ASD
 A girl sitting quietly is all you see
 But inside my mind, I am far from free
 My thoughts collide, and my senses take over
 I become overwhelmed by the smallest sound
 Clicking pens, ticking clocks
 That boy’s chair and the way it rocks
 All different smells attacking me
 The perfumes, the coffee, the teacher’s tea
 Take a seat and sit with me
 But not too close; I have ASD
 I try to be social, I try to fit in
 I come across as rude, I can never win
 I am very literal and straight to the point
 If you want the truth, I won’t disappoint
 When my brain is overloaded, I sometimes lash out
 My control fades; I scream and shout
 I get confused, and it all spills out
 Intense emotions all trapped inside
 Finally, have nowhere to hide
 Take a seat and sit with me. I want to tell you about ASD
 Please understand I am not to blame; I’ve just got an atypical brain
 But it’s not all doom and gloom
 I’m often the sportiest girl in the room
 I’m quirky, unique, kind, and caring
 I’m loyal, protective, and always sharing
 I’m obsessed with frogs and all things green
 I’m the youngest trendsetter you’ve ever seen
 Take a seat and sit with me
 I am Ava, I am me
I’m not just my label of ASD.”