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AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH: Louisiana teen expresses himself through poetry



BATON ROUGE, La.– April 1st marks the first day of Autism Awareness Month.

An Ascension Parish teen expresses the challenges of his disability through poetry.

“They were asking me to talk, say anything, I think in my head.. I’m trying,” part of Cohen Swain’s poem titled “hold on, I’m trying” reads.

15-year-old Cohen was nonverbal until the age of 5. Communicating, a challenge of his autism he would face for many years to come.

“I’m trying to get them to understand but they don’t know,” Cohen said.

After years of internal thoughts and emotions bottled inside, the teen finally had a breakthrough. Cohen was given an assignment that changed everything for him… a poem to write for his class. In the poem Cohen expressed how he felt each year of his life he could remember until now.

“Don’t you want to tell me about it? I think in my head, hold on, I’m trying,” Cohen said in his poem.

Krystal Swain says her son’s words took her breathe away.

“It’s emotional. We didn’t know. We didn’t know,” Swain said.

Swain says the poem is relatable for everyone especially those who are struggling during the pandemic.

“It’s not just about Cohen it’s so much more. Don’t give up, be kind, especially right now you don’t know what people are going through,” Swain said.