Written for World Autism Awareness Week: this is my equivalent of the shaved head, raffle or sponsored slim. If it touches you at all, please click here to make a donation to the National Autistic Society or at least, share as widely as you can so we can hopefully tap into some rich people…
Accidents will happen (even in the best-regulated families), you see,
Don’t anger, guilt does damage enough, repair with biscuits and tea.
Blood is thicker than water, but you can drown in both, alone,
So let your birds flock happily with those whose feathers shine most like their own.
Curiosity killed the cat, but feeds the human child,
Answer those questions, every time, even if they drive you wild.
Do as you would be done by, to all, baby or old,
Respect, listening, patience and warmth, we fail to thrive when cold.
East, west, home is best, if your heart has an open door,
Enough is as good as a feast, when shared, give time and then give more.
First impressions are most lasting, respond with attention and care,
The groan, the sigh, the roll of an eye, will they start to wish they weren’t there?
Give an inch and they’ll take a mile, might alternatively mean we should try
To cut some slack, dose with encouragement, make room for a talent to fly.
Hard work never did anyone any harm, IF chosen: nurture passions of all kinds,
Celebrating process, not success or failure, builds ambitious and tenacious minds.
It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive, so try to enjoy the ride,
All dreams are worth dreaming, all stories worth writing, be an encouraging guide.
Jack of all trades, is a master of none? Or a master of one? Or some?
Offer freedom to choose and to change; cherish whatever they want to become.
Keep your powder dry and your chin up, you’ve got this more than you know,
Your little ones believe you’re a hero already, trust yourself and go with the flow.
Let the punishment fit the crime: behaviour is a symptom of need,
Steps offer no learning, being shunned hurts like hell, love shows you want them to succeed.
Money doesn’t grow on trees but many things do: climb one and watch for a spell,
Man does not live by bread alone, we need sunshine, time in nature, to grow well.
No man is an island, unless he’s forced, unless he’s been cast away,
You may gain more energy than you lose, if you commit to join in with the play.
One hand washes the other: mutual benefit, like a form of super-charged sharing,
Don’t dictate, negotiate; seek common ground and you’ll instill caring.
Patience is a virtue that works all ways, so practice what you preach,
And practice also makes perfect: they have to learn, you cannot just teach.
Questions asked may be silly, answers too, but only if you’re sure,
That the laughter will be together, not at. How awful if they asked no more…
Rome was not built in a day, I’m sure some said it would never be done,
Don’t give up, don’t rush, don’t compare, don’t excuse: their path is their own unique one.
Stick and stones and words can all hurt, hold their hands and hear their fears,
Still waters run deeper when scarred then silenced, it’s OK to be angry or shed tears.
The apple never falls far from the tree, but it’s exceptions that prove the rule too,
Be sure your ambitions for them are theirs, never say “but I thought I knew…”.
Upsetting the apple cart ain’t always great, but rules shouldn’t leave us cowed,
Spontaneity is a skill, so is following your heart: changing plans is always allowed.
Variety is the spice of life: model openness, don’t judge or discriminate,
Disability, race, gender, sexuality, no matter: NOTHING gives grounds for hate.
Worrying never did anyone any good, it’s more deadly and contagious than flu,
Breathe, let go: if you believe you can, or believe you can’t, either way is true.
Xi is a river in Southern China, did you know? …and the 14th greek letter,
You’re never too old to learn or adventure, experiencing together is better.
Youth isn’t wasted on the young, you can teach new tricks to an old mutt,
You ain’t seen nothing yet – surprise yourself – don’t be the one who always says “But…”
Zygote to dotage, time always flies, the child is the father of the man,
So get busy having fun, many heads better than one, together whenever you can.