In Autism Land, Who is the ‘Kismat-Wali’ (One with Good Fate)?

Daanish smiling

There is a phrase in Urdu – kismat-wali – meaning one who has good fate, who is blessed, very much like the word “kismet.” My mother-in-law called me kismat-wali. She is visiting her daughter these days, who has five children, works full-time and has leads an incredibly busy life. The classic Super Mom – that’s my sister-in-law. After spending some time with her and seeing how much she manages between the kids, her teaching job, cooking and housework, my mother-in-law remarked that I am a kis … [Read more...]

Loved and Loved Back

Daanish and Amal_soccer

The whole family came out for Amal’s soccer game on Saturday morning – Lil D, Hamza, my husband and myself. I can’t remember the last time we all went to one of her games or one of Hamza’s games. All of us. The kids have been playing with the Ansars soccer league for four years now, and many of these kids have been with Amal on teams since they were five and six years old.Playing with the Ansars is one thing I have tried my best not to compromise for Amal, and now Hamza, even when things get … [Read more...]

Not Today

Hamza pulls his arms inside his t-shirt too, so he can be just like Lil D.

Something is wrong. I can see it; I can feel it in my bones. Lil D is off, and as I go back through things in my head and track the data sheets that I (and his school) maintain, I see an alarming rise in incontinence – the fancy word for pee accidents. Lots and lots of pee accidents. I just threw out his old mattress, knowing it was beyond cleaning at this point, and got him a new one. And that new one is encased in an allergen-mattress cover with a vinyl cover on top of that, plus double sh … [Read more...]

Did Autism Speak?

Autism_Awareness_puzzle pieces

Autism Awareness Month, or as many in the autism community like to call it, Autism Action Month, is ending today. For some of us -- we are happy to see it go, as the response to autism and the awareness of what this developmental and neurological disability is nowhere near where it should be.Some in the autism community, including self-advocates with autism, look at the increasing numbers (1-50 school age children have autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, according to the latest reports from … [Read more...]

For the Love of Their Grandchildren

Daanish spinning beads on flag (2)

What would a parent do for their child? Anything. How far do we go for them? As far as it takes. What do we give up? Whatever we need to. What do we change about ourselves? Everything. When you add special needs into the picture, then your ability to go the distance for your child becomes the stuff legends are made of. And, there are no thanks necessary – it’s just what you do.I have quit jobs, stayed up nights on end well beyond the baby and toddler years. I’ve driven thousands of miles to a … [Read more...]

When an Autism Awareness Event is Anything But

hockey autism awareness

We’ve hit the middle of April, and while there was a flurry of focus on autism at the start of the month, it still is very much “Autism Awareness Month.” Awareness events sponsored by local and national organizations continue to occur across the United States, but sometimes I wonder how much real “awareness” is actually happening? How many of these events just serve as fundraisers for the organizations sponsoring it?Fundraising is not bad, and of course autism organizations must capitalize o … [Read more...]

Where Our Concern Should Be Right Now – With the Victims, Not the Faith of the Perpetrators of Violence

If you’re Muslim, you can’t help but be thinking, oh God – let it not be a Muslim. Please, don’t let whoever is behind the explosions at the Boston Marathon be Muslim. It crosses most of our minds. I’ll start with myself – from the time I was in college at the University of Maryland in the 1990s and the Oklahoma City bombing happened, to now, it’s the first thing I think when I hear about a bombing – please, don’t let it be a Muslim.But here’s the thing. That shouldn’t be our primary concern. … [Read more...]


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