Our Own Autism Divide

Taking a break from Patheos’ “Three Questions for American Muslims” project to share this video with you, which was posted on my friend’s wall this morning on Facebook. I imagine a lot of my posts on this blog in the coming days will be on autism, on the joys and trials of raising my autistic son and my other children, about how trying to maintain faith, practice my religion, believe in the Infinite Wisdom of Allah is a constant battle as our family struggles to help our son manage his autism.  This post, “Ramadan Despair,” that I wrote on a very tough day this past Ramadan, sums up a lot of the struggles I have – but like I said, I wrote it on a very tough day. My moods and emotions and struggles wax and wane day to day.

I feel compelled to say that I write from my perspective – no other’s. We autism families are a tight, tight, and we get each other like no other – not even my closest family members (outside of my husband) understands this life we live like our autism friends do. And that makes our life, in particular, a challenge, because we have a very strong family community and a strong community of Desi and Muslim friends with whom we hang. And don’t get me wrong – most of those friends are great with us and all our complexities: our tendencies to leave parties early, or not go to events, or the quirks of Lil D, or when he acts up and we have to cut and run. I truly appreciate their love for us and their patience with us. But no one gets it like another autism family.

But my autism friends don’t get the Muslim and Desi (Indian/Pakistani) part of our life - and that is a HUGE part of our life – the way our Muslim and Desi friends do. They definately respect it and are interested in it. I wish there was a way to bridge the divide between both parts of our life.

But wishes are for moments when we can relax and think of what we would like in a perfect world - and I don’t have time for that. I’ll simply give thanks that we have good friends in both parts of our lives.

Anyway, on to the video — it’s from a dad about his autistic daughter, and it pretty much sums up our life and feelings – with the exception that our son was slow and behind his milestones from the get go, and that he was pretty nonverbal from the get go.

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And watch this thank you video. It is equally precious.

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About Dilshad Ali

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