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...]

Dear Educators – In Autism Land, Arrests and Suspensions are Not the Answer

This is Day 19 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 19, 2017Dear Public School Special Education Administrators and Educators,I admire a lot of you. I really do. To educate students with special needs and disabilities takes intelligence, patience, innovation, passion, compassion and superb listening skills in droves. You are working closely with parents and an entire administrative team to come up with Individualized Education Plans that tailors curriculums for each student you t … [Read more...]

Lessons in Autism Land – Less of the Doing, More of the Listening

This is Day 18 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 18, 2017.Dear D,Teach me your ways, oh son of mine. Teach me how you wake up every morning when I call your name, push the heavy blankets off you and face your day.There is never a Salaamualaikum, Mamma, or even a sleepy, mumbled ‘sup as you stumble down the hall into the bathroom. Just silence as you get up and get going with your day and your morning routine. Your sister slams her door shut to ready herself for school in pri … [Read more...]

Dear Parents – Do the Work

This is Day 17 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 17, 2017.Dear Autism Parents (Is that even a thing? Can we say that?)The only way you’re going to figure this out is to start talking, sharing and connecting. A lot of you have come to me over the years to ask about different therapies, government supports, medical treatments, where to find doctors, where to find spiritual support and on and on and on.I wish there was a one-stop shop, an Autism Super Store, if you will, that cou … [Read more...]

He Knew

This is Day 16 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 16, 2017.Dear God,I see what you did there. You knew what you were doing. Of course, you did.On the last day of spring break, when I was feeling this side of exhausted and a bit down for really no good reason, you sent to my home an unexpected visit with a friend and family I had never met before. And you said to me – think beyond your world, Dilshad. Think beyond what D is able to do and not able to do. Think beyond the cha … [Read more...]

The Elusive Hunt for Sleep

This is Day 15 of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 15, 2017.Dear Friends,What do you say? Can I skip out on Day 15 of this month – hump day and all? I’m kind of “autism awarenessed/actioned” out today. Last night we had some family come to town to meet us and my sister-in-law’s family. My SiL hosted, and with so many people coming and it turning into a late evening, the husband and I decided that one of us would stay home with D.So, I did.When he looked proficiently sleepy en … [Read more...]