A boy who is wired differently: A poem

Shefali Kalra, a 2021-22 participant of the Perkins International Educational Leadership Program, shares a poem she was inspired to write after she started teaching children with disabilities.

Shefali teaches a student on the Perkins School for the Blind campus.

I am Shefali Kalra from the 2021-22 batch of the Perkins International Educational Leadership Program.

I am a sibling of a person with disabilities. For me the relationship with my brother was just like any other sibling relationship: we used to fight, laugh, play pranks and gang up against our parents. My memories of growing up with him are some of my fondest memories.

When I joined the special education sector I saw my brother in every child I encountered. All I could think was how a shift in perspectives can initiate change and do wonders; how, if we just acknowledge the fact that every child is first and foremost a human, irrespective of their disability, so many issues could be resolved and this world can truly be for all.

Below I share with you a small poem on a “Boy who is wired differently”. I was inspired to write it when I first met a wonderful boy at my organization and he shared his beautiful and unique world with me. I hope you enjoy it.

A Boy who is Wired Differently

I am a boy

Just like anyone else,

I am a boy

But they call me different!

I am a boy

And just like the others

I love to play.

But you see,

The world sees me in a very different way!

I am told that I don’t do things the same way

And I certainly don’t do well with coping with change.

There is a world of my own that I live in

And for me that’s my only escape!

Wired differently,

No creativity,


A boy who lacks sympathy and empathy,

No person he ever cares for

Are all the labels that are tagged to me!

Yes for I do live differently

For I see white as white

And black as black

The grey doesn’t exist for me

Yes for certain, some colour or sound or even texture may bother me

You may also say I behave “abnormally”

But those behaviors are sometimes my necessities!

Those behaviors are food for my sanity!

I am a boy

Who doesn’t speak

But there is a question that lingers within me

Why is it that when the world sees a “normal” person change and become an identity… they are told, “Oh! That’s his personality.”

And when I live the way I feel comfortable

It is regarded as a “DISABILITY”

For I have heard I have AUTISM

And it’s a disorder with lot of

Difficulties and mysteries.

Yes, I am a boy who is wired differently.

If you feel uncomfortable or strange in my world,

How do you think it makes me feel in a world filled with uncertainties?

Where there is no routine,

And things change so abruptly!

But here I am,

Just a boy

Who is wired differently

A boy, a child, a human before any disability!

Shefli Kalra is a special educator at Umang in Jaipur. Established in 2006, Umang is an initiative started by parents and professionals, striving for an inclusive society that provides equal opportunity for all, by enhancing the quality of life of individuals with various disabilities. Umang reaches out to individuals with cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disability and multiple disabilities. Learn more about Umang

A group of students in front of large building.
A group of students and Umang’s director, Deepak Kalra, gather in front of the Umang building.

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