A Big Brother in Autism Land

Daanish_big brother

When I glance up at the clock from my computer, I see that it’s 5:30 p.m. Where does the time go? As many times as I’ve vowed to cook dinner earlier in the day so I’m not panicked to make Lil D’s 6:30-7:00 p.m. dinner deadline, inevitably it comes down to the last hour.I click my laptop shut and move two feet into the kitchen and get to work. Lil D is out with his therapist on one of his CBI outings (community-based instructions), and I’m pretty sure Amal is in the dining room finishing her h … [Read more...]

A Bus Story – The Small Things That Matter

Bus-Clip-Art2

You guys. You guys!I was working on a post, something I had been mulling over the past two weeks, but I have to put that aside and share this. Because it matters. It’s so small, so seemingly insignificant, but it really, really matters.Lil D came home on the bus today. Since school started up two weeks ago and with my in-laws out of town, I am left to manage the afternoon bus/pick-up schedule by myself most days. With Hamza in kindergarten in a school that doesn’t have bussing, I have to … [Read more...]

9/11 – How Do We Keep Praying When it Often Feels Like too Much?

Candle in the dark

A dear friend posted the question on social media last night – What is your 9/11 memory? The responses came flooding in, and as things are wont to happen in this day and age, my husband and I, sitting on opposite ends of the couch, both responded on our phones – our answers posting within seconds of each other.He at the hospital, the last year of residency in midtown Manhattan, in a patient’s room when they both turned to the television to witness the horrors occurring mere miles away. He and … [Read more...]

Embracing (and Including) Autism and Special Needs Families in Muslim Communities

crescent and star clouds

The day after speaking at the 50th annual Islamic Society of North American conference in Washington, D.C., I was back at home in my basement hanging with Lil D. He was roaming about, spinning his beads and calling “Maw-maw! Maw-maw! Maw-maw” – very much caught up in his stim and oblivious to the world. Every so often he stopped and would come close to me, put his face in mine and say nonsensical words like “Oweeowee owee. Maw-maw! Maw-maw!”As if to say – ok Mamma, you had an audience, you sa … [Read more...]

‘Ittefaq’ – Meant to Be

blue contact

I hugged my mom goodbye. Instead of our usual tight and brief hug, I went in for a long one, nestling my head into the crook of her neck, as I’ve done during the times I never wanted to let her go – when she was leaving to go back home after I had given birth to Hamza. Or when I had brought an infant Amal and a newly-autism-diagnosed Lil D to her home for post-partum recovery. Or after I had come home from the hospital after a devastating miscarriage, and she was waiting for me.The hug when w … [Read more...]

To Those Who Believe that People with Autism Have No Worth, I Have a Message for You

Lil D

We live in a pretty quiet neighborhood – it’s your classic big old-style Southern colonial Virginian houses, complete with magnolia trees out front. Kind of a weird fit for an American Muslim-Indian family with a headscarf-clad mom (me), old school Indian in-laws (who are newly minted American citizens!), husband and three kids, the eldest of whom certainly disrupts the serene scene at times.It’s a neighborhood of kids and school busses, but not teeming with kids playing outside or in the str … [Read more...]

Why Did You Leave Me?

Lil D hoody smiling

I picture it happening like this: He walks in the door, weary after traveling thousands of miles and sitting for hours on a plane, then driving nearly three hours more – across time zones and battling jet lag – and drops his bags and calls out to his son. The edges of the picture fade into a blur and the room goes silent as the focus turns with a sharp clarity onto Lil D, spinning his beads and pacing the length of the family room. It’s time for the big moment, the story-book reunion between fat … [Read more...]


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