The Positives

by:

Look into your children's eyes
Enjoy the light that's there
That light’s not seen by everyone
But only those who care

They challenge all of us to know
What lies beneath the deep
Recessess of their hearts and minds
Awake or when asleep

To find your child is not the same
As others you will meet
Can be a crippling blow for you
Do not accept defeat

Take your child’s face in your hands
And gaze into their eyes
And you will see the wonders there
which may be a surprise

They live and learn a different way
But live and learn they do
A different pace to understand
That certainly is true

But OH, the wonders of your child
That gift that’s yours alone
If only others all could see
The child that you’ve been shown

Some may not speak some may not learn
At paces that are fast
But if you look you may just find
Some talents unsurpassed

A cookie-cutter child they’re not
But how droll would that be?
To be the same as everyone
Is not necessity

And if the time comes when they need
Some extra lessons taught
They can be brought to us you see
We’ll help them with their thoughts

We’ll teach them coping skills so they
Can navigate their world
Confusing things may separate
And not seem quite so swirled

We’ll teach behaviors they should learn
For home and in their school
So in communities they’ll thrive
And have less ridicule

And medication may be part
Of treatment that they need
We’ll work with each and every one
To help them all succeed

They may not have good social cues
May need some lessons there
And we will work so hard with them
We’ll help them each prepare

Your child may stay a while with us
And most seem like our own
We want to give them dignity
And be their cornerstone

Their sensory needs we’ll not neglect
For that plays a huge part
In who your child has been and is
We’ll do that from the start

A feather, suede, or furry thing
Soft yarn may just delight
Loud noises and abrupt hard sounds
May surely cause a fright

We take for granted many things
That are our normal day
While tiny sparks a great fire builds
To stop them from their way 

So know our doctors, nurses,
And our social workers too
Will tirelessly do what they can
To do their best for you 

We have the best of specialists,
OT, and movement trained
And discharge planners, PCCs
To keep all things maintained 

You children usually have the need
Of help with speech and such
We have an expert in that field
Who does so very much

Our unit secretary wears
So many hats it’s true
And she’s the one who works and solves
Most problems just for you

The unsung heroes in our field
Our mental health workers are
The people keeping your child safe
They’re each a superstar

Autism has a spectrum and
We’re learning every day
Here are some names suspected
Some are old from yesterday’s

Einstein and Mozart had some traits
Just as your children do
And others such as Spielberg
Burton, Jobs, and Bill Gates too 

Here’s one name of a lady
Who’s autistic and writes books
Her name is Temple Grandin
You will love them - take a look

So when you’re worried and you need
To speak of how you feel
Please know that you can come to us
Because We help you heal.


Madeleine Sharp-Smith, R.N., is the patient care coordinator for the adolescent neuropsychiatric unit at Sheppard Pratt's Towson hospital. She has been a part of the team since the unit first opened.