All Haste to the Wedding

Flickr Creative Commons, Photo from Mac Reddin

The bags are packed, the plans have been made and the caregiver has been hired.We are breaking our own rules, for better or for worse.We are taking D to a Big Fat Indian-Muslim Family Wedding.If I could get out of it on his behalf, I would. As we draw closer and closer to departure (tomorrow for me and the younger kiddos, and Friday for his dad, grandparents and D to join us), I keep thinking – why are we doing this? Why are we subjecting D to this?Six summers ago, after a … [Read more...]

Thanks Jon Stewart, from an Autism Mom

Flickr Creative Commons - Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the "Night of Too Many Stars"

Now the good news is this: Bullsh*tters have gotten pretty lazy. And their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time. Like an "I Spy" of bullshit. So I say to you tonight, friends, the best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance.If you smell something, say something. -- Jon Stewart, on his last episode of The Daily ShowThat's kind of it right there, Jon Stewart's evolution of "fake newsman" to "newsman-pointer-out-of-the-bullsh*t." No one was … [Read more...]

Fifteen

D and I in his classroom on his 15th birthday.

In passing by the bathroom where D was showering, my niece remarks, he sure sings a lot in the shower. Yes, he does. D sings, he hums, he makes sounds and gets up in your face with a loud, fast cacophony of babbles when he is trying so hard to convey something to you. His face comes close to yours as if to say – don’t you get what I’m trying to say? Understand me.We, his closest loved ones, know the lilt, strength, cadence, tone, melody and volume of his sounds so well. The satisfactory noise … [Read more...]

Islam, Therapy Dogs and Autism – In Search of a Constant Companion

Autism therapy dogs

It started, as I usually does, with the yearning for something better for D – something that would provide him comfort, security and companionship, something or someone who would be allowed in to his physical space when the rest of us were pushed out.With my nieces spending the weekend with us at the house, D had spent most of the day in and out of the family picture -- sometimes venturing to be in the same room with and interact with his cousins, and sometimes retreating to the safe space o … [Read more...]

From Access to Belonging – On the ADA and the Muslim Special Needs and Disability Community’s Journey

President George H.W. Bush signing the American Disabilities Act into law 25 years ago.

This weekend I was honored to participate and speak at an event organized by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition -- "From Access to Belonging: An Interfaith Service Celebrating the Progress and Promise of the ADA." It is part of several events happening in Washington D.C. and around the country to honor the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act, a landmark piece of legislation. It's interesting that the ADA, which holds most of our public life accountable … [Read more...]

His Theatrical Debut – On Inclusion and Plays in Autism Land

Image from the theatrical program for "Caps for Sale"

In flipping through his yellow binder, where his teachers and I do our daily communication, I found it.A simple flyer with a simple announcement. But it was everything to me. Everything.We are putting on a play! ********** In our parental autism journey, there came a point when I learned that the so-called "normal" experiences and rites of passages of childhood are not always meant to be -- and that was ok. I didn't feel it so much in the early years after D's diagnosis, when he was in … [Read more...]

With Head Bowed, I See the Light

sunset_resized

[A] person whose head is bowed and whose eyes are heavy cannot look at the light. -  Christine de Pizan, Ditié de Jehanne d'ArcWith his head on my lap as we sit in the back seat, we drive home.He is heavily dozing under a medicated sleep, and the husband and I wonder how we are going to get him up the front steps into our home. Why not drive around some more, run some errands if you want, I say to my husband. We'll stay in the car until he starts to wake up.So that's what we do. … [Read more...]


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