Ali Family Autism Truths # 3 – Spinning in Circles

Running-around-in-circles

April 3, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month, Day Three of Ali Family Autism Truths"A" came with me today when I went to pick up D from school. She and her little brother, H, had half-days, as Spring Break has now begun. With H off to Jummah prayers with his grandparents, A kept me company on my afternoon drive. The other kids rarely come with me when I get D. They're both coming home on busses at that time themselves. So it was a little disconcerting to A to see her older bro pulling his arms … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #2 – Autism Doesn’t Get Better, We Get Better

D shaking hands with the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe

April 2, 2015, Autism Awareness Month (World Autism Day) - Day Two of Ali Family Autism TruthsOn the drive to school, D's not feeling it. Arms drawn into shirt, the cries are starting and soon enough, he is banging his head intermittently on the back of my seat. He's not really hurting himself because the seats are soft, but it's distressing. He's obviously off -- something is amiss. He isn't feeling well; he is upset about something, The cogs inside are jangled up. There's nothing I can do … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #1 – Learning from Each Other

April 1, 2015 - Autism Awareness Month - Day One of Ali Family Autism TruthsD is sitting downstairs right now picking through his dinner, while one of his therapists, who is playing the care giver role, sits with him. I've kicked the rest of the family out for dinner, and I'm sitting upstairs keeping an ear out for any issues that may come up. Call this a dry run. Call this part of my hypervigilance in making sure he is cared for and supported in a manner that will be best for him. Next week … [Read more...]

The Ease and the Glory

When we first were officially told that D's diagnosis was autism, we were devastated. This may be insulting to some on the spectrum, but I'm keeping it real. There has been so much heartache mixed in with joy these past 11 years since that day that it all seems inexplicably intertwined.You can't have one without the other. As much as I've tried to lessen and alleviate D of the excruciating hard parts of autism, it's still there, perhaps to remind us that the beautiful moments and the joy are … [Read more...]

Between Autism and Stoic Heroism

Daanish at Pump it Up

The words seem too paltry, too weak, to insufficient to fully express the depths of what I am seeing him do. I want to share it with you. But every time I let the words flow, it feels unsatisfactory -- like whatever I write will not do justice to the truly astounding things I see my son doing. Because when I turn my attention outward, I see everything amplified – big, noisy, loud, glaring. And I don’t want to lose the beauty and true awesomeness of the small, the infinitesimal, the passing mom … [Read more...]

New York City to Add Muslim Holidays to Public School Schedule

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

"We no longer have to choose between our education and our faith!" -- tweetI woke up today to see that #EidInNYC was trending in Twitter? Why? Because New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the addition of the two Muslim Eid holidays to the public school schedule. Says this CBS local article: Schools will now close for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, making New York City the largest school district in the nation to recognize the two holidays on the official school calendar.“We are co … [Read more...]

Motherwhelmed and Wanting More

D happily  twirling beads around his Nanijan's (grandmother)'s finger

There are the articles, posts, op-eds and stories that the important ones. The BIG ones. The ones to affect change, get you thinking, expose a problem, right a wrong, grow awareness for a cause or situation, promote activism or convey a story that needs to be heard.Then there are the ones that are seemingly nothing – the sharing of a thought, an experience, a feeling. Take what you want from it. Maybe sharing it is just an exercise for the writer to get out what she is feeling in her brain a … [Read more...]


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