Finding Room for it All in Autism Land

This is Day 26 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 26, 2017Dear World:At the beginning of April, on Day One, I wrote this: Here’s a question – how do you find that balance or place for the narratives that celebrate the neurodiversity differences of autism and feature the voices and stories of those who are actually autistic and teach the world about acceptance, accommodation and inclusion, AND also openly talk about the challenges, the medical comorbidities, the huge difficulties som … [Read more...]

Dear Siblings – What is Your Role in our Family Autism Future?

This is Day 25 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 25, 2017Dear A and H and other autism siblings,Last night I was at a training seminar to learn about how to apply for SSI (supplemental security income, a form of social security) benefits for your brother once he nears the age of 18. There are a lot of things we need to do for him in the coming year as he approaches the age of majority – SSI, consider guardianship (apply in court to become his guardian and figure out what kind of gua … [Read more...]

Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Future – As a Family

This is Day 24 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 24, 2017Dear Family,I came home from a long medical appointment the other day and walked into the house. D and his Baba were sitting on the stairs – D behind his Baba, arms and legs wrapped around him. He was digging his chin into his Baba’s head, slapping him on the shoulders with his hands (rather hard) and literally covering him with the kind of affection you usually don’t see between a near-17-year-old and his Dad.As we are wo … [Read more...]

As Moms, Do We Care for Ourselves?

This is Day 23 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 23, 2017Dear Moms, Particularly Muslim Moms of Color,Last night I took the boys and went to the home of a friend, who has two sons on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. D has been in classes with both over the years. Another mom who has two sons (out of four) on the spectrum also joined us. We had come together, along with my friend’s family, for a confirmation celebration.Probably the best part of being at her home was that ev … [Read more...]

On Government Ineptness, Autism and Passport Sagas

This is Day 21 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 21, 2017Dear Government Agencies – Federal, State and Local,With as much frustration as I’m about to unload, let me start with a positive – as a parent of a teenager with autism, there is no where I’d rather live then in the United States. My son’s autism isn’t the only reason I’m glad to live in this country (I was born here), but it certainly is a crucial factor.Although I and so many of my fellow Muslim Americans are experienci … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk about Autism and Puberty

This is Day 20 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 20, 2017Dear Parents, Muslim and OtherwiseI thought I’d direct this letter to Muslim parents of kids with autism. But really, it applies to all parents of autistic kids. I’m particularly concerned with Muslim parents of children with autism and other disabilities because as a network of communities, we are historically reticent from discussing matters of health and sexuality in a public setting, let alone openly and honestly with our … [Read more...]